Saturn V Rocket and Kerosene

Saturn V RocketJust a quick tidbit of fun information today! I just learned that the first stage of the Saturn V rocket was fueled by kerosene and got the equivalent to 5 inches/gallon! Why use kerosene instead of liquid hydrogen like the other two stages? It turns out that the energy density per unit volume for kerosene is higher than that of liquid hydrogen.

The first stage was needed to lift the rocket from 0 acceleration. That required a ton of energy (especially a 6.2 million pound/2.8 million kg rocket)! The fuel compartment would have been huge if liquid hydrogen were to have been used for the first stage. Hydrogen tkes up about 7 times the volume of kerosene on a per weight basis. Not to mention, the canisters to hold liquid hydrogen would have been complicated and would have added further weight.

Interesting tidbit!

[Sources] Wikipedia Saturn V Rocket

[Image Credit] NASA

Wikipedia Rocket Fuel

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