Cryogenic fuels are fuels that require storage at extremely low temperatures in order to maintain them in a liquid state. These fuels are used in machinery that operates in space (e.g. rocket ships and satellites) because ordinary fuel cannot be used there, due to absence of an environment that supports combustion (on earth, oxygen is abundant in the atmosphere, whereas in human-explorable space, oxygen is virtually non-existent). Cryogenic fuels most often constitute liquefied gases such as liquid hydrogen.

Some rocket engines use regenerative cooling, the practice of circulating their cryogenic fuel around the nozzles before the fuel is pumped into the combustion chamber and ignited. This arrangement was first suggested by Eugen Sänger in the 1940s. The Saturn V rocket that sent the first manned missions to the moon used this design element, which is still in use today.

Quite often, liquid oxygen is mistakenly called cryogenic "fuel", though it is actually an oxidizer and not a fuel.

Russian aircraft manufacturer Tupolev developed a version of its popular Tu-154