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24 May, 2023

Musk: Starship will lift 300 tons expendable, 180 tons reusable

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Responding to a Twitter user, Musk says SpaceX Starship with improved Raptor 3 engines should lift 300 tons in expendable mode, or 180 tons in reusable mode.  This compares with two years ago, when Two years ago Musk estimated a Starship would lift 250 tons to orbit in expandable mode and 150 tons in reusable mode. For comparison, the International Space Station weighs 450 tons and took around 50 Space Shuttle launches to complete. An earlier, SpaceX concept, called the Interplanetary Transport System, was planned to carry 550 tons expendable, 300 tons reusable.

Starship payload is 250 to 300 tons to orbit in expendable mode. Improved thrust & Isp from Raptor will enable ~6000 ton liftoff mass.

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