Answers Your Questions
| From: Tara, of |
To: Bill Reeves, flight director for the planning team
Question: How much fuel does the average space shuttle use to get into space?
Answer: There are a variety of propellants used by the shuttle to get it into and then back out of orbit. For launch the space shuttle's external tank is loaded with about 230 thousand pounds of liquid hydrogen and 1.4 million pounds of liquid oxygen. Additionally, just for the ascent part of flight each solid rocket booster will burn approximately a million pounds of solid propellant. Once the orbiter separates away from the solid rocket boosters and external tank and has achieved orbit, it is up to the 32 thousand pounds of OMS and RCS propellants to perform the on-orbit burns and the deorbit burn at the end of the mission to bring the orbiter home.
Dean Lenort, Orbit 1 Propulsion Officer