# Capacity of the BFR tanker -- how many flights to fully refuel the spaceship?

So, the current plan for the BFR has the spaceship massing 85 tons and carrying 50 tons of cargo plus around 1000 tons of fuel and oxidiser (according to wikipedia), most of which is presumably expended getting into orbit. Then, for deep space missions, the spaceship is supposed to be refueled by the BFR tanker. This is usually shown on the animations etc. as just one tanker flight per spaceship, but the numbers don't seem to add up. Even if the dry mass of the tanker is less, say 30 tons, it will only deliver about 100 tons of fuel/oxidiser to LEO, so it looks like it would take about 10 tanker flights to fully refuel the spaceship.

Does anyone know if that is actually the plan? or have I miscalculated somewhere? or does the spaceship not need to be fully refueled for (say) a Mars mission?

• Related but not the same question: Can five refillings of the BFR second stage be useful to get to the Moon? To Mars? All five in Earth orbit?. A good answer to one which uses some $\Delta v$ math will make answering the other easier.
– uhoh
Feb 9, 2018 at 17:27
• Remember, the BFR is a two-stage vehicle. The first stage holds most of the fuel and doesn't ever reach orbit. May 17, 2020 at 2:22
• @LorenPechtel Sure, but the 1000 tons of fuel/oxidiser is in the second stage, as is the 50-100 tons or cargo. May 17, 2020 at 6:49