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Some rocket families have been used for both military and civilian purposes (e.g. Atlas). Do the military versions use the same fuel as their civilian counterparts?

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  • $\begingroup$ RP-1 has two different official specifications. NISTIR 6646 from the National Institute of Standards and Technology and MIL-R-25576 for military specifications. I couldn't find a publicly available version of MIL-R-25576 but it is possible that military spec RP-1 isn't quite the same as civilian RP-1. It is also possible though that they are chemically identical and it is just a difference in required paper trail. $\endgroup$ – Lex Sep 28 '18 at 18:10
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In general, yes. The selection of fuels for military rockets is driven by different factors than that of civilian rockets, but for a specific design the same fuel is used.

The only exception I can think of is that the Redstone military rocket was originally developed for 75%/25% alcohol/water with LOX, but in its satellite launcher versions (Jupiter C / Juno I) it used hydyne fuel for increased performance.

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Souyz-U2 rocket used Syntin fuel instead of rocket-grade kerosene as other R-7 family rockets did. But Soyuz-2 is rather far evolution of military R-7.

Syntin is special synthetic hydrocarbon fuel that have some better energy than kerosene, so the rocket had better performance - about 200 kg to low orbit.

Soyuz-U2 was launched 72 times and experienced no failures over its operational lifetime. It was used to launch manned missions - Soyuz T-12 to T-15 and Soyuz TM-1 to TM-22, as well as Progress supply ships. The rocket was operational in 1982-1995. Then it was announced that the Soyuz-U2 had to be retired, as the performance advantage gained through the use of syntin did not justify the additional cost of its production.

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