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Fuel Requirements For SpaceX Starship

Knowing that the SpaceX Starship will use methane as its fuel, the natural question to ask is how much?

Our analysis indicates that a fully loaded Starship in a two stage configuration will launch using about a 1000 tons of liquid methane as fuel.  This is equivalent to approximately 50 million standard cubic feet (mmscf) of methane.

According to Darrell Etherington of TechCrunch, Elon Musk, in response to questions during a Twitter interview, has indicated "that the spacecraft is being designed with the plan of flying it for an average of three flights per day, each carrying over 100 tons per flight, for a total of more than 1,000 flights per year, per vehicle."  The spaceship referenced in the quote is the Starship currently undergoing development and testing at SpaceX's  Boca Chica, TX facility.

This works out to be about 150 mmscfd per Starship, or about 150 billion cubic feet of methane per day (bcfd) for a fleet of 1000 rockets.  For reference, current US demand for methane in the form of natural gas is about 82 bcfd.  In essence, Mr. Musk seems to be indirectly suggesting that US demand for methane will nearly triple over the next 10 or so years.

Here's wishing Mr. Musk and SpaceX all the best of success in this venture.

As envisaged by Mr. Musk, the SpaceX Starship could potentially nearly triple US demand for methane, which is the main component of natural gas, by 2030.

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