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I started building a hydrogen powered rocket, but realized a fatal flaw in my plan: the rocket relies on a hydrogen tank and is not connected to anything. Therefore, there is no way of filling the tank.

I have a bunch of hydrogen bottles though. Is it possible to fill the tank using the bottles? I placed them inside, but that had no effect.

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I don't think you can fill a hydrogen tank with bottles, the intended use is that you fill the bottles with the tank. As far as I know, hydrogen and oxygen can only be tranferred using conveyors. You could consider using another ship to tow your ship to a connector on the base, that's probably the easiest solution. You could also fill a tank and ferry it between to get your ship off the ground, but you'll need power on both grids to connect them with connectors or merge blocks.

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    Well, I didn't have any other ship that could do that. I ended up adding h2o2 generator, solar panel and a battery and waiting till the tank filled with hydrogen made from ice. Mar 19 '19 at 11:37
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If you have a Hydrogen powered rocket, that means you have a Hydrogen engine, right? While having a hydrogen tank on board is ideal, it isn't mandatory, as the engines have their own internal (but small) hydrogen tanks.

Anyway, to fill up a hydrogen tank or fuel a hydrogen engine, it's best to have a O2/H2 generator on board. This will consume Ice and create hydrogen, which is transferred via conveyor belts to the Hydrogen Engine and Tank and will power your rocket. So, on your rocket ship, build one of those O2/H2 generators and get some ice and pop it in. This can act as fuel for your rocket.

Like I said, you can pre-convert the Ice to hydrogen and store it in a tank, but that is optional. I believe your ship's hydrogen engine can depend entirely on the O2/H2 Generator's ice storage.

EDIT: I forgot to mention, hydrogen bottles can only be consumed by your space suit. They are filled by the O2/H2 generator, and the hydrogen tank can also fill the bottles. The hydrogen inside is not usable outside of powering your space suit's jetpack. So unfortunately the bottles won't help you here.

EDIT 2: I should point out that you didn't mention the type of thrusters your rocket uses. If it uses Atmospheric/Ion thrusters, they run on electricity, but if it uses Hydrogen thrusters, then that will run on hydrogen, created with the ice. Consider this, a hydrogen tank might be convenient on board.

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  • FWIW, having the generator onboard is suboptimal, you need many to fulfill reactor's needs in real time. They add a lot of weight, and the ice adds even more. You have to carry all that weight around,heavily increasing needed thrust... and thus H2 consumption. It's much more efficient to just have the tank on board, make a static ice processing plant and refill there.
    – spectras
    May 23 '20 at 0:24
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    @spectras As I've been playing more of this since that post, I entirely agree. Ice is very heavy and is best to be pre-converted to Hydrogen and stored in tanks. Plus, O2/H2 generators just aren't very fast compared to how fast you go through the hydrogen, so they can't keep up, even if you have many of them. Thanks for your input.
    – Psymøn
    May 26 '20 at 14:55

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