I am doing a project on asteroid mining and I was wondering how much the falcon heavy can take into space, I have seen the Wikipedia page. it says it can take a max of 16.8 metric ton. but at what weights will the rocket be reusable and does the 16.8 mean none of the parts will be used again? I know this may be kind of vague but it would be great if someone could help me. thank you.


1 Answer 1


As noted in the Wikipedia page about the Falcon Heavy: the 16.8 tonnes maximum payload capacity to Mars is in fully expendable mode which means nothing is reused as all stages are using up their fuel and thus do not have any fuel left to make a landing.


With just the core booster expended, and two side-boosters recovered, Musk estimates the payload penalty to be around 10%, which would still yield over 57 tonnes of lift capability to LEO.

So in partially expendable mode (the side-boosters are recovered, the center stage is not) the LEO payload capacity drops from 63.8t to about 57t. If the same penalty of 10% would be true for a Mars payload, partially expendable mode would still be able to lift about 15.1t to Mars.


When recovering all three booster cores, GTO payload is 8,000 kg.

In the fully reusable configuration, the GTO payload drops from 26.7t (fully expendable) to a mere 8t. That's just about 30% of the maximum payload. That would mean just 5t for a Mars mission (likely even worse, I don't think we can extrapolate like this).


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.