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Liquid-propellant rocket

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1 Liquid-propellant rocket on Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:44 am

A liquid-propellant rocket or a liquid rocket is a rocket with an engine that uses propellants in liquid form. Liquids are desirable because their reasonably high density allows the volume of the propellant tanks to be relatively low, and it is possible to use lightweight pumps to pump the propellant from the tanks into the engines, which means that the propellants can be kept under low pressure. This permits the use of low mass propellant tanks, permitting a high mass ratio for the rocket.
Liquid rockets have been built as monopropellant rockets using a single type of propellant, bipropellant rockets using two types of propellant, or more exotic tripropellant rockets using three types of propellant. Bipropellant liquid rockets generally use one liquid fuel and one liquid oxidizer, such as liquid hydrogen or a hydrocarbon fuel such as RP-1, and liquid oxygen. This example also shows that liquid-propellant rockets sometimes use cryogenic rocket engines, where fuel or oxidizer are gases liquefied at very low temperatures.

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