Space craft fuel help?

by ravi.k

Question by : Space craft fuel help?
Is it possible to get a 747 sized space ship to space using VASIMR engines’ The ability to fly up 60 000ft’ And light weight.
Only using 10 million dollars of fuel

Best answer:

Answer by Morningfox
Do you mean the ability to fly to space from 60,000 feet, or to reach 60,000 feet from the ground? I think that 60,000 feet is a long way from outer space. The accepted point is 328,000 feet. A 747 sized ship would need about 2,000,000 newtons of thrust, or maybe twice that if it was heavy loaded.

Current and near future VASIMR engines would produce less than 1000 N thrust. They would need to be 2000 times more powerful to get a space ship from ground to orbit. Even starting from 60,000 feet and 1000 km/hr would save only 5% or 10% of the total energy.

It *might* be possible to get something as big and heavy as a 747 to orbit with only million of fuel. The Space Shuttle costs about million per launch / landing, but that includes a lot more than just the fuel.

Space Shuttle payload = about 30,000 kg.
747 payload = about 113,000 kg, about 3.8 times more.

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One thought on “Space craft fuel help?

  1. Morningfox gives impressive numbers, but I question the accuracy. Most estimates for the 135 shuttle missions is 174 billion dollars. That is well over a billion a trip cost. As to the other numbers, I would like to see calculations on the energy requirements, engine capabilities, etc.

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