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There is right now talk of a potential dual launch mission to fulfill EM-1, where a Delta Heavy would launch a fully fueled upper stage to LEO, to there bet met with the Orion spacecraft, likely launched by a Falcon Heavy but possibly a Delta Heavy. From there they could dock and go to the Moon. Does Delta Heavy have the ability to launch one of its upper stages to orbit without using said upper stage at all, or would it stack the upper stage as a payload?

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  • $\begingroup$ Using the values from wikipedia, the maximum payload to LEO is 28,790 kg and the total mass of a fully fueled second stage is 30,700 kg. So a reduction of 1,910 kg or 7 % of total fuel should be necessary. 93 % of remaining fuel looks great. But what about boiling losses of cryogenic LH2 and LOX? $\endgroup$ – Uwe Mar 14 at 21:29

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