How much fuel does it take to shuttle a pound of equipment into space?



  1. 0 Votes

    It depends on the launch vehicle used, but your use of the word “shuttle” in your question suggests to me you’re talking about the space shuttle. NASA’s space shuttle is launched via a combination of liquid fuel funneled through the shuttle’s main engines (the fuel is stored in the big brown-colored tank) and the solid fuel booster engines, which are the slender white rockets on the side. The solid boosters consume 11,000 pounds of fuel per second for about 100 seconds–that’s 11,000,000 pounds of fuel. There are about 520,000 pounds of liquid fuel consumed during the shuttle’s powered flight. Total solid and liquid fuel, that’s 11,520,000 pounds of fuel. The maximum payload of the shuttle is 50,000 pounds (not counting the weight of the shuttle itself or its rocket and fuel tanks). Assuming a fully-loaded space shuttle, it takes about 230.4 pounds of fuel for each pound of payload carried aloft. Not exactly the world’s most efficient transportation system!

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