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Old 19th Jan 2016, 13:29
  #52 (permalink)  
Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Peripatetic
Posts: 10,509
I thought I covered that above; the 32+ tons is carried to provide a reserve to cover the case of one or more engine failures during ascent and to still achieve orbit. To carry less would turn a mission survival failure into a mission failure.

In the event all or part isn't used, the first stage can still be recovered; turning a necessity into a virtue.

Last edited by ORAC; 19th Jan 2016 at 16:06.
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