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The Atlas rockets and Centaur upper stages (often used in combination) successfully use(d) pressure-stabilized tanks to minimize dry mass. This technology was not used in any other rocket stages I'm familiar with. Given the high value of a pound of payload, why?

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    $\begingroup$ I presume you read Taming Liquid Hydrogen: The Centaur Upper Stage Rocket, 1958-2002? (Warning: large PDF file on NTRS - expect a server struggling to keep connection alive and download with a download manager with resume capability!) For those not familiar with the term pressure-stabilized tank, the question is about sub-millimeter thin balloon tanks much lighter than reinforced structure tanks. $\endgroup$ – TildalWave Feb 25 '15 at 23:03
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The high price of payload to orbit is precisely the point: Pressure stabilization means that the entire transport of the tanks has to be done with the greatest care. Any dropped tool can easily punch a hole through the paper-thin tank walls. They also have to be constantly wetted with an oil film to prevent corrosion.

The additional labour adds greatly to the cost of the launch system.

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