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The petroleum used as a rocket fuel is a type of kerosene similar to the sort burned in heaters and lamps. However, the rocket petroleum is highly refined, and is called RP-1 (Refined Petroleum). It is burned with liquid oxygen (the oxidizer) to provide thrust.

RP-1 is a fuel in the first-stage boosters of the Delta and Atlas-Centaur rockets. It also powered the first stages of the Saturn 1B and Saturn V. RP-1 delivers a specific impulse considerably less than that of cryogenic fuels.