Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How expensive are satellite fuels?

  1. Dec 2, 2016 #1

    joshmccraney

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Does anyone know how expensive satellite fuels and or cryogens are? If so, could you supply the source? If not, do you have any recommendations where I could look (I've googled and google-scholared things like "satellite fuel cost" but to no avail).

    Thanks!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 2, 2016 #2

    Nidum

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Search on the actual substance names . Hydrazine , liquid oxygen , helium etc .

    Generally though the actual cost of chemical fuels , coolants and pressurising agents is trivial compared to the other costs involved in any space mission .
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2016
  4. Dec 2, 2016 #3

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    The cost is dominated by the lift cost of $5-10,000 per kilogram.
     
  5. Dec 2, 2016 #4

    Student100

    User Avatar
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    Not going to be a lot of information out there, especially for some fuels. Why not email the public relations division of a commercial satellite manufacturer like Space Systems/Loral. They might be able to share a ball park figure with you.
     
  6. Dec 2, 2016 #5

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Can you say why you are asking? Are you looking at making your own small-scale liquid-fueled rocket? Have you experimented with solid fuel hobby rocketry in the past? :smile:
     
  7. Dec 3, 2016 #6

    joshmccraney

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Thanks for the responses!

    hahaha Berkeman, I'm afraid I'm not nearly that cool:frown:

    I'm writing a grant proposal and this would be helpful information. It's not necessary, but it would be nice to know. The proposal relates to capillary fluids in low-g environments, so not rocketry. Thanks for the response though!
     
  8. Dec 4, 2016 #7

    joshmccraney

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Can you provide a citation for this info?
     
  9. Dec 4, 2016 #8

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Google cost per kilogram to LEO. 325,000 results.
     
  10. Dec 4, 2016 #9
    Once a satellite is in orbit, it can in some cases be reconfigured when needed by short burns of micro thrusters.
    Typically these use Hydrazine, which gives a lot of bang for the buck and is fairly light weight.
    Hydrazine of itself-is not really expensive, a quick googled revealed industrial suppliers at around $2000 for a metric tonne.
    Liquid hydrogen could be used, but that has problems with containment.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted



Similar Discussions: How expensive are satellite fuels?
  1. Hydrocarbon fuel (Replies: 4)

  2. Hydrogen fuels (Replies: 11)

Loading...