How Much Does the Space Shuttle Weigh

How Much Does the Space Shuttle Weigh

The Space Shuttle was the first reusable space vehicle and is considered one of the greatest engineering feats of the 20th century. On average, a Space Shuttle weighs 165,000 pounds (75,000 kg) when it’s empty. But when it’s fully loaded with fuel and crew for a mission, its weight can swell to 4.5 million pounds (2 million kg).

The Space Shuttle weighs approximately 4.5 million pounds when fully loaded with fuel and ready for takeoff. That’s the same weight as about 1,200 cars! The shuttle has three main parts: the orbiter (the space plane), the solid rocket boosters (attached to the sides of the orbiter), and the external fuel tank (connected to the orbiter).

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How Much Does the Space Shuttle Weigh Empty?

The Space Shuttle weighs approximately 184,000 pounds empty. It is made up of three main components: the orbiter, the solid rocket boosters, and the external fuel tank. The orbiter makes up the majority of the weight at 154,000 pounds.

The solid rocket boosters each weigh about 1.1 million pounds fully loaded with propellant, but are only around 185,000 pounds empty. The external fuel tank weighs in at around 33,000 empty and 1.7 million when full.

How Many Tons Does a Space Shuttle Weigh?

Space Shuttle The first space shuttle, Columbia, was launched on April 12, 1981. It weighed in at 154,000 pounds (69,850 kg).

The heaviest shuttle ever flown was Endeavour, which weighed 171,000 pounds (77,560 kg) when it flew STS-89 in 1998.

How Much Does the Discovery Space Shuttle Weigh?

The Discovery space shuttle weighs 165,000 pounds (74,837 kg) when empty. It can carry a maximum payload of 220,000 pounds (99,790 kg) into low Earth orbit.

How Much Does the Space Shuttle Orbiter Weight?

The short answer is that an orbiter weighs about 171,000 pounds (77,558 kilograms) when empty and up to 4.5 million pounds (2,038 metric tons) when fully loaded with fuel and cargo. However, the actual weight at launch can vary depending on the mission and how much crew, equipment, water, food and other supplies are onboard. Orbiters are the reusable spacecraft portion of the space shuttle system.

They consist of a pressurized cabin for the crew and payload bay doors that open to allow satellites and other large cargo to be deployed in space. Each orbiter is equipped with three main engines and two auxiliary power units that provide electrical power and hydraulic pressure. The engines are fueled by liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen stored in tanks within the orbiter’s massive orange external tank.

As mentioned above, an orbiter’s weight can vary greatly depending on what it is carrying. For example, during STS-114 in 2005, Discovery weighed about 247 thousand pounds (112 metric tons) less than during STS-121 in 2006 because it was carrying less water for its crew. In contrast, Endeavour weighed about 25 thousand pounds (11 metric tons) more during STS-118 in 2007 because it carried extra propellant to compensate for one of its main engines being shut down prematurely during launch.

Interestingly, an orbiter actually gets lighter as it uses up its fuel supply during a mission since the fuel is burned off or vented into space. This means that a shuttle typically weighs less at landing than it does at liftoff even though it may have taken on additional payloads while in space!

How Much Does the Space Shuttle Weigh


Average Weight of a Space Rocket in Kg

The average weight of a space rocket in kg is about 450,000. However, the weight can vary depending on the size and type of the rocket. For example, the Saturn V rocket, which was used for the Apollo Moon missions, weighed in at about 2,800 metric tons (3,100 short tons).

The Space Shuttle orbiter had a dry mass of approximately 75 metric tons (83 short tons), while its total launch mass was typically around 122 metric tons (134 short tons).

How Much Does a Space Shuttle Cost

The United States space shuttle program began in 1972 with the launch of the first orbiter, Columbia. The last space shuttle mission occurred in 2011. The program cost an estimated $209 billion.

Assuming an average lifespan of 30 years for each of the five orbiters, the per-shuttle cost is approximately $8 billion. This includes research and development costs, as well as operational costs such as fuel and maintenance. The most expensive individual component of the space shuttle is the main engine, which costs approximately $28 million per engine.

Other significant expenses include the solid rocket boosters ($22 million apiece) and external tank ($37 million). Despite its high cost, the space shuttle was considered a remarkably successful program. It safely transported over 700 astronauts to low Earth orbit and completed over 135 missions during its three decades of operation.

How Much Does a Rocket Weigh in Tons

Rockets are one of the most fascinating things humans have ever created. They are machines that defy gravity and propel us into space. But how much do they weigh?

The answer might surprise you. A rocket can weigh anywhere from a few hundred to a few million pounds, depending on its size and purpose. For example, the Space Shuttle Discovery weighs about 4.5 million pounds at liftoff.

That’s more than 2,000 tons! But not all rockets are that big. The Apollo 11 Saturn V rocket, which carried astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the moon in 1969, weighed just over 6 million pounds fully loaded.

That’s still pretty hefty, but it’s nothing compared to some of today’s largest rockets. The Falcon Heavy, built by SpaceX, is the most powerful operational rocket in the world. It can lift almost 140,000 pounds into low Earth orbit—more than any other rocket currently in service.

And it weighs in at an impressive 5 million pounds when fully fueled for launch. So there you have it! The weight of a rocket can vary widely, depending on its size and purpose.

But one thing is for sure: these incredible machines are always worth their weight in awe-inspiring power and exploration!

How Much Does a Rocket Weigh

How Much Does a Rocket Weigh? This is a question that we often get asked, and it’s one that isn’t as simple to answer as you might think. The weight of a rocket can vary quite significantly depending on the type of rocket, the size, and what it’s carrying.

For example, a small model rocket might weigh just a few ounces, while a large NASA space shuttle can weigh over 4 million pounds! To give you a better idea of how much rockets can vary in weight, let’s take a look at some specific examples: The Saturn V rocket which was used for the Apollo moon missions weighed in at about 6.5 million pounds (2,976 metric tons).

That’s pretty heavy! But it had to be in order to carry all of the fuel and equipment needed for such an ambitious mission. The Space Shuttle orbiter also weighed in at around 4 million pounds (1,814 metric tons), but when fully loaded with fuel and cargo, it could reach weights upwards of 8 million pounds (3,629 metric tons).

That’s almost double its empty weight! The Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX is much smaller than either of those two examples, but it can still pack quite a punch. It typically weighs around 1.1 million pounds (500 metric tons) when fully loaded and ready for launch.

And yet despite its relatively small size, it has been used to successfully launch payloads into orbit including satellites and even people!

Space Shuttle Dimensions Metric

The space shuttle was designed with both English and metric units. The metric system is used more often in the scientific community, so it made sense to use both systems when designing such a complex machine. Here are the dimensions of the space shuttle, in both English and metric units:

– Length: 122 feet (37.2 meters) – Wingspan: 78 feet (23.8 meters) – Height: 56 feet (17 meters)

As you can see, the space shuttle is a large machine! It’s amazing that something so big can fly!

Space Shuttle Payload Capacity

The Space Shuttle payload bay was designed to accommodate a wide variety of payloads, from satellites to the International Space Station module. The maximum payload capacity of the shuttle is 29,500 kg (65,000 lb), and the typical payload is around 10,000 kg (22,000 lb). The largest payload ever carried by a space shuttle was the Hubble Space Telescope, which weighed in at 11,110 kg (24,400 lb).

Space Shuttle Speed

Space shuttle speed is pretty incredible when you think about it. They can travel up to 17,500 miles per hour! That’s faster than a speeding bullet.

And they need to be that fast in order to keep orbiting the Earth. If they were any slower, they would start falling out of the sky. But because they are moving so quickly, they are actually falling around the Earth.

It’s like if you were to throw a ball up in the air. It would eventually come back down because of gravity. But if you threw it hard enough, it would keep going around and around without ever hitting the ground.

That’s what happens with the space shuttle – it keeps falling but never hits the ground because it’s traveling so fast. This speed also allows them to cover a lot of ground very quickly. So if there is an emergency on board or something needs to be fixed, they can get help fast.

All in all, space shuttle speed is pretty amazing and essential for their survival!

Space Shuttle Vs Rocket

The space shuttle was a unique spacecraft that was designed to ferry astronauts and payloads back and forth from low Earth orbit. The first space shuttle, Columbia, was launched in 1981 and the last shuttle, Endeavour, flew in 2011. A total of 135 missions were flown over the 30-year lifespan of the program.

The space shuttle was not without its challenges though. The Challenger disaster in 1986 resulted in the loss of seven crew members and brought into question the safety of the program. There were also concerns about the high cost of operating the shuttles compared to traditional rockets.

In the end, it was decided that NASA would retire the space shuttle fleet and focus on developing new technologies for future exploration missions. One such technology is SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. The Falcon 9 is a two-stage rocket that is designed to deliver payloads to low Earth orbit and beyond.

The first stage booster is reusable, which helps to keep costs down. SpaceX has already completed several successful launches of their Falcon 9 rocket and they are currently working on developing a Crew Dragon spacecraft that will be capable of ferrying astronauts to and from orbit. So what’s the difference between a space shuttle and a rocket like SpaceX’s Falcon 9?

It really comes down to mission requirements and cost effectiveness. The space shuttle was designed for specific missions within low Earth orbit while rockets like the Falcon 9 are being developed for more versatile applications including human exploration beyond Earth orbit. When comparing costs, it is important to consider all aspects of both programs including development, operation, and retirement costs.


The Space Shuttle weighs about 4.5 million pounds, which is about the same as eighteen elephants. That’s a lot of weight! But it’s not just the shuttle itself that is so heavy.

The fuel that it carries is also very heavy. The shuttle uses two types of fuel: liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. Together, these two fuels weigh about 1.5 million pounds.