Theoretically speaking, could the shuttle have performed TLI, LOI, and TEI burns given extra OMS fuel? approximately how much fuel and payload bay space/mass would this take up and might there possibly be space for a lunar lander of some kind?


1 Answer 1


Not even remotely enough delta-v to make the TLI burn. The apollo burn was 3+ km/sec. The space shuttle OMS system was good for about 300 m/sec, so about 10% of the amount needed.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ When comparing the energies for 3 km/s and 300 m/s, it is only 1 % of the amount needed. $\endgroup$
    – Uwe
    Jun 19, 2019 at 20:39
  • $\begingroup$ sure, but if extra OMS fuel was carried in the cargo bay, would it be possible to do so with a longer burn time? or alternatively could more LOX/ liquid hydrogen be carried in the payload bay for the RS-25s in order to complete a similar burn? $\endgroup$ Jun 20, 2019 at 8:09
  • $\begingroup$ @EoinO'Kelly Not nearly enough room or mass budget. That enormous external tank held 1.5 million pounds of fuel and oxidizer and the shuttle still needed the SRBs to make orbit. $\endgroup$
    – zeta-band
    Jun 20, 2019 at 15:10

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