SpaceX's Starship does not refuel, rather, it is being "refilled" in between flights as clarified by Elon Musk because the Raptor Engines use 78% liquid oxygen and 22% fuel.

The term was corrected by the CEO and serves as trivia for people that are unaware of the propelling technology that the Starship has, especially with its popular Raptors.

The world already knows that the Starship is a Stainless Steel full and rapid reusable spacecraft which the company intends for its Mars mission that would soon come. It would be paired with the Super Heavy Booster, which is one of the most enormous stainless steel rockets in existence.

The full stack of both is 120 meters in height, making it one of the tallest assemblies in existence.

SpaceX Starship Does Not Refuel, Refills Instead

Starship SN11 Raptor Engines
(Photo : Screengrab from Mortally Challenged)

Heads up people: SpaceX CEO Elon Musk (@elonmusk) has noted that people should use the term "refill" and not "refuel" when talking about SpaceX's Starship and its Raptor Engines. In the coming years, the Starship would go back and forth the planet, as it is to be used for Mars and other payload cargo missions.


Hence, it would need a lot of refilling of its tank, and it is called refilling because it contains 78 percent liquid oxygen, and only 22 percent fuel. It seems that SpaceX is using this mix of propeller content as it works well for them, as well as the Starship rocket ship, as seen on previous launches or test flights.

The SN15 Starship is a particular spacecraft, as it was made by the company for longer hauls and taking a massive beating. Moreover, the Starship would only use its Raptors and fuel when the Super Heavy Booster already detaches as it reached orbit, where it would begin its flight towards Mars.

Read Also: Boeing Starliner Still Has Launch Problems with Propulsion; Now Behind SpaceX Under NASA's Flight to ISS

If ever SpaceX's Starship runs out of fuel, it would have an "orbital" refilling method, which would be fulfilled by another Starship, as rendered by ErcXspace and described by Musk.

SpaceX Starship is a Light Spacecraft

SpaceX Starship
(Photo : Loren Elliott/Getty Images)

According to the Lung Institute, liquid oxygen is lighter than its gas form, as it is easier compressed than its original stature. Gas forms, with its heavier state and its "fight" to get out a container after it was compressed,  are known to expand almost a thousand times their liquid form.

The publication was talking about liquid oxygens in personal tanks, and not yet on a massive scale like the Starship. It only goes to show that the liquid form has its benefit for SpaceX's use.

Do Liquid Oxygen Burn A Lot Than Fuel?

But the real question is, does it burn a lot better than fuel? The answer to that is, it burns a lot better, but is not quite enough to power a propellant on its own. That being said, SpaceX uses a mix of 78 percent liquid oxygen, and 22 percent fuel.

Note that oxygen is still a primary ingredient in triggering a fire, and its addition to the combustion process and fuel would help it burn stronger.

Related Article: Elon Musk Offers Services to Make SpaceX Spacesuits for NASA Artemis, More Expensive than Falcon, Dragon

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Written by Isaiah Richard

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