Questions about the element hydrogen, typically related to its use as rocket fuel.

In combination with an oxidizer such as liquid oxygen, liquid hydrogen yields the highest specific impulse, or efficiency in relation to the amount of propellant consumed, of any known rocket propellant.

Although liquid hydrogen gives a high Isp, its low density is a significant disadvantage: hydrogen occupies about 7x more volume per kilogram than dense fuels such as kerosene. This not only penalises the tankage, but also the pipes and fuel pumps leading from the tank, which need to be 7x bigger and heavier. (The oxidiser side of the engine and tankage is of course unaffected.) This makes the vehicle's dry mass much higher, so the use of liquid hydrogen is not as advantageous as might be expected. Indeed, some dense hydrocarbon/LOX propellant combinations have higher performance when the dry mass penalties are included.

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