Questions tagged [refueling]

Questions about adding additional propellant to a spacecraft after it is in space, in order to allow it to go further, carry a greater payload, or to continue to maneuver or maintain attitude control.

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6
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2answers
2k views

Can five refillings of the BFR second stage be useful to get to the Moon? To Mars? All five in Earth orbit?

EDIT: Here are some BF numbers from the video: ...
6
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2answers
414 views

Is Landsat-7's propellant resupply port “robot-ready”? (Restore-L mission)

update 2020-11-20: OSAM-1 (Formerly Restore-L) Continues to Make Progress, Fuel Tank Installed note: the recent 2019 news Northrop's satellite refueling spacecraft launches on October 9th which is ...
10
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1answer
700 views

Is BFR refilling in space purely milli-g “gravity” feed rather than using pumps and/or pressure?

On-orbit refueling of the SpaceX BFR upper stage is necessary for trips to the Moon and Mars. In the presentation at the "International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Adelaide, Australia, SpaceX CEO ...
30
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3answers
7k views

Has in-space refueling been done?

Before the Apollo program committed to the lunar orbit rendezvous mode, one of the Earth orbit rendezvous proposals involved launching two Saturn Vs, one with the Apollo spacecraft and large lunar ...
1
vote
2answers
330 views

ULA: bringing propellants from Earth “Avoids Earth's Deep Gravity Well”?

I read SpaceX’s biggest rival is developing “space trucks” to ferry cargo in an orbital economy in Quartz which linked to this April 2016 outline of ULA's view of Transportation Enabling a Robust ...
9
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3answers
542 views

Liquid settling in tanks during orbital refueling

I am interested in orbital refueling, not for satellites (though that’s a good idea) but for manned exploration and infrastructure. For instance, to support a lunar base we would want regular flights ...
6
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3answers
1k views

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 ...
9
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2answers
2k views

What is the extent of on-orbit refueling experience at the ISS? Which fuels? which spacecraft?

In a discussion associated with this answer a comment includes the following: The ISS is the only spacecraft in the world that has experience with regular on-orbit refueling. What is the extent of ...
4
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1answer
320 views

Why do two Starships dock in such a manner their heat shields face opposite sides?

In the Starship Launch Animation, first, a crewed Starship launches and reaches orbit. Then the fuel tanker Starship rendezvous with the former and docks like this for orbital re-fuelling. It can be ...