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High explosives as rocket propulsion

Most powerful high explosives available, like CL20, can be used as rocket propulsion. First is “firecracker belt rocket”. Small charges of high explosives are packed like firecrackers in “firecracker belt”, then this firecracker belt is exploded inside bell shaped rocket nozzle. Each small explosion explodes at slightly different time, so there is no big blast peak, just several smaller ones in rapid succession. Perhaps up to 500 to 1000 explosions per second (or several thousand explosions per secon) is possible in “firecracker belt”. Those rapid explosions provide almost constant trust. If there is 50 or more rocket nozzles in rocket s first stage, and in every nozzle is 500 - 1000 explosions (or less) per second, all this system timed that every explosion is at slightly different time, vibration is not so bad in rocket structure. Variable thrust is possible if belt feed mechanism that feeds firecracker belt to rocket nozzle varies speed and system that sets firecracker fuses firing is controlled. Rocket fuel tank is filled with firecracker belt. If first stage of heavy rocket uses 50 or more rocket nozzles, in last stage can be only 9-12 or more nozzles, or rocket is single stage to orbit type. Vibration can be minimized if such explosion sequence is chosen that no harmful vibrations (resonances) is generated by explosions of “firecrackers” in firecracker string / belt?
Second type is shaped charge rocket: Rocket uses shaped charges packet in artillery cartridge -like cartridges, those cartridges have shaped charge cone, and explosions are either away from rocket (if shaped charge has high recoil force to opposite direction where charge fires) or towards rocket like in Project Orion. If charge is firing away from rocket and rocket uses recoil thrust rocket nozzle is not even needed because shaped charge leads blast away from rocket. System is like fast firing automatic cannon which is used as rocket motor and uses recoil of gun to propel rocket. Firing rate can be 1000 - 6000 rounds per minute (16 - 100 rounds per second) in every “gun”. Recoil absorbtion mechanism that guns and cannons have can be used, or recoil springs etc. Or no recoil absorbin mechanism at all if rocket withstands recoil vibration. Every rocket has about 50 or more “guns” in first stage so vibration is not so bad when every gun fires at different time. In atmosphere vacuum cone charge can be used, in high altitude only shaping of explosive because vacuum cone does not work in almost vacuum. Cartridge can be either caseless that burns away when shooted (including shaped charge cone), or cartridge is lightweight, graphene hardened epoxy for example. If shaped charge is not used in cartridge, “gun” has rocket nozzle in place of gun barrell, rocket nozzle leads blast energy to thrust. Similar systems like rapid firing automatic guns and cannons have can be used in those “gun powered rocket” rocket engines. Another option is that shaped charge is not pointed away from rocket but towards rocket, which is Project Orion rocket but chemical explosives. There is 50 or more recoil plates in first stage of rocket, parabolically shaped, in center of recoil plate is hole which throws shaped charge cartridges, those explode some lenght away from plate and recoil plate takes recoil force from hot gases of blast. Plates must be heat resistant material and strong. Recoil damping system is behind every plate if that is needed, like rubber or silicon damping mechanism or recoil springs etc., or no recoil damping mechanism at all if it is not needed. Recoil plate can also be bell shaped rocket nozzle. “Rate of fire” is 16 - 100 rounds per second or more in each recoil plate.
Third type is fuel air explosive rocket, it is almost like normal rocket with rocket engine chamber, but uses controlled explosions of FAE to propulsion. Chamber uses acoustic resonances of successive controlled explosions to keep engine going, like space shuttle used acoustic chamber in engine. Those blast waves go around in rocket chamber but are controlled like acoustic chamber controls normal rocket engine. FAE has 4 - 6 times power of TNT? But FAE needs lots of oxygen. Oxygen (or other oxidiser) is mixed with FAE in rocket chamber. Result is blast that has large pressure boost but small pressure peak? So altough rocket needs liquid oxygen (or other oxidiser) it needs less fuel. Ramjet style action like german V1 missile had that used successive explosions to move missile can be used (pulsejet / pulse detonation engine). Ramjet / pulsejet can use air so rocket when boosted to certain speed can use atmospheric air as oxidiser. FAE ramjet / pulsejet rocket can use this, using ordinary boosters to gain speed and then second stage (FAE ramjet / pulsejet / PDE) starts. In high when there is no oxygen liquid oxygen can be used instead of ramjet air. Or just use liquid oxygen from ground to space. Succesive explosions type rocket engine like pulsejet / PDE/ ramjet, or very fast explosion cycle rocket chamber (acoustic blast wave chamber) in rocket engine can be used with FAE and oxidiser? Thermobaric heat is not needed in FAE rocket engine, only pressure blast?
Rocked sled rail launch at mountaintop, balloon launch or air launch rockets can use high explosives as fuel, so altough those rockets have small weight (including fuel) they can carry heavy loads to space. Balloons can carry 10 - 30 ton rockets to upper atmosphere and launch rockets from there, In those times when balloons are not used to launch rockets they can be used to carry astronomical telescopes to upper atmosphere, 10 - 30 ton weighted, and those telescopes can have main mirror that is light membrane mirror, inflatable “air matress” type or other. In orbital airship concept is airship at 42 km high, that can also be used to carry astronomy telescopes when it is not carrying other cargo.
“Why not fuel rockets externally during liftoff” 2017. If rocket is connected to fuel hoist / tubes up to 500 - 600 m length, rocket gets fuel pumped up to 600 m high and when in 600 m and gaining speed rocket still has full fuel tanks. Rocket boosters and core stage can have full fuel load up to 600 m high if fuel is pumped during liftoff. In 500 - 600 m fuel tubes are disconnected. Fuels must be non-cryogenic? Now safe non- cryogenic fuels have been invented that are effective. Bipropellant safe solid propellant (powder?) has been invented, it can be pumped to rocket also during liftoff. ALICE fuel rocket needs only water to be pumped perhaps. High explosive powered rocket can lift firecracker belt or explosive cartridges up to 600 m during liftoff so it too has full fuel tanks at 600 m high. It can use electric motor to lift firecracker belt and cartridges, motor gets electric power from ground also until disconnection.
High energy density matter rocket fuels (HEDM) have been proposed but this is how to use most powerful high explosives available as rocket fuel. Perhaps enhanced blast effect explosives or underwater explosives that are used in torpedos and underwater mines can also be used as explosives to launch rocket using firecracker belt or gun / shaped charge system. I think the firecracker belt / firecrcker string system is best way to use high explosives as rocket propellant? Or some other way to use high explosives as rocket propulsion? Liquid explosives and liquid gun propellants have been made. In 1960s were developed liquid rocket fuels that were used as explosives, not rocket fuel. But if rocket chamber has strength of field artillery gun or more, perhaps liquid explosives can be used as rocket propellant, or liquid gun propellant as rocket fuel. Fast firing cycle of small propelland loads is needed. But firecracker belt principle, very small loads of most powerful (solid) high explosive fired in rapid succession in many rocket nozzles simultaneusly, can launch rocket to space very efficienly? Light rockets that are launched from balloons or aircraft or rocket sled need only 9-12 rocket nozzles perhaps. And one rocket chamber can have several exhaust nozzles that are long and narrow like trumpet horns, but when several nozzles are grouped together length is similar to one large nozzle per chamber.
“High volumetric density rocket fuel” patent 2017230832, “Greener space travel? Scientists unlock the door to cleaner space travel”, “Unsaturated hydrocarbons to increase energy density of methane rocket fuel”, “Highly powerful new biofuel could change rocket engines forever”, “Metal powder: the new zero carbon fuel”, matallic hydrogen, trinitramid, ALICE, “Review on synthesis and properties of high- density liquid fuels: hydrocarbons, nanofluids and energetic ionic liquids”, “A new look at rocket fuels”, “From rocket to rocket fuel: plant waste could power planes”. “Electric solar wind sail”, “Non-rocket space launch and flight” 2005, “Positron propelled and powered space transport vehicle”, steam balloon rocket launch, “Performance of electric solid propellant” 2019.
I don t know what spesific impulse is for rocket that is powered by CL20 explosive instead of liquid hydrogen / oxygen. But CL20 has many times more energy than H2/LOX. So CL20 powered rocket can lift huge loads to space, SpaceX BFR / Starship rocket can then lift over 1000 tons to space? 1500 tons or more? That would be real “starship”. Because in rocket equation is that even small incease in specific impulse can lead to huge improvement in efficiency, how about several times increase of specific impulse compared to today s rocket fuels? If there is any way how to use high explosives themselves as rocket propellant, not just blend in rocket fuel, but high explosives without “taming down”, rockets would have so high spesific impulse that even some nuclear rocket designs have not similar efficiency. Most powerful high explosives should be used. CL20 is available from India at low price? So single stage to orbit (and back) rocket with fuel tank full of CL20 firecracker belt is possible. But small rockets would benefit most, their small engines can be made withstand explosions easier than thousands of tons large rockets, heavy rockets need bigger explosions to lift them off the ground altough there is over 50 rocket nozzles and each of them has over 1000 explosions per second for example. OTRAG and asparagus staging principles, OTRAG had small rocket modules with one nozzle with fuel tank, those were grouped to bigger rocket units, and asparagus staging, fuel is transferred from stage to another. Both of those principles can be used in firecracker belt rocket. OTRAG style rocket has one rocket nozzle and firecracker belt fuel, when grouped to large units rocket is modular, or firecracker belt can be loaded during ascension from one rocket stage to another like asparagus staging. Firecracker belt is safer than liquid fuel, solid explosive is packed to small packs in “firecracker belt / string”. Firecracker belt can be exploded in rocket engine chamber also and then is exhaust to nozzle, altough I previously presumed that belt of small explosives is exploded only in rocket nozzle, if chamber configuration gives some advantage of efficiency. That would be like pulse detonation engine then, with or without air from atmosphere, or like ordinary rocket engine with chamber and nozzle, altough fuel is small packs of solid explosives fired at very fast pace. There is post “Useful way to use hydrogen in space station” in Robin Hood Coop Forums, about other space matters.
If there is large number of rocket nozzles, about 54 -109 or more in bottom of rocket that would make rocket look like Kankoh-maru or Roton. That is basically single stage to orbit rocket. Rocket nozzles must be large enough so that detonation blasts of explosives do not break nozzle. Nozzles made of graphene hardened epoxy or other very strong material. Space shuttle rocket motors had acoustic chamber, similar system to control resonances of explosions is perhaps needed, altough there is several thousands of them in every second? Detonation cycle is such that harmful resonances are avoided if possible. But rocket s bottom is very large with large group of big nozzles? Like N1 rocket. So also multi-stage rockets with large diameter rocket engine section is possible. Or is better to have just one big nozzle? BFR would then have just one 9 m diameter gigantic nozzle. Distance to nozzle walls is so long that detonation waves cause no danger. Smaller rockets can have nozzle that is 2-3 times wider than rocket itself. If that is needed to tame down explosions. If explosions are inside rocket engine chamber, and only one chamber is used, BFR has then gigantic 9 m diameter chamber and nozzle. One chamber can have several exhaust nozzles, long and narrow like trumpet horn. Large chamber has so large space, hundreds of cubic metres, or even about 1000 m3, so that explosions cause no danger. Same for nozzles. If that is better than large amount of smaller chambers or nozzles? Detonation in nozzle is simpler than detonation in chamber, in nozzle detonation can be projected outwards.
Perhaps low thrust to weight ratio is needed in rocket so that explosions are not so powerful. So if rocket is light and below 100 tons it still ascends slowly like Saturn 5. In russian missiles, SS4 or SS5 had so low thrust engine that rocket had to be protected from wind, it was launched from silos or from protective tube, because if during launch was wind rocket would capsize. In some wind conditions launch was impossible. Similar wind protection is perhaps needed in low thrust to weight explosive powered rocket. However high explosives have so much energy that even low thrust to weight rocket can be single stage to orbit and back type. Or use multiple stages.
Actually explosives can be packed like “fishnet” structure, with fuses. This fishnet is packet inside rocket fuel tank and then long fishnet belt feeded to rocket nozzle and exploded. Belt speed gives variable thrust, including explosion fuse control. Thousands of small explosions per second?
Fuel air explosives have 4-6 times power of TNT? So if FAE powered rocket, using pulsejet or pulse detonation engine, is using simple solid booster to gain speed to engine to work, or PDE engine does not need “push” but works already in launch pad, and is launched and then when there is no atmospheric air for engine to use second stage uses other high explosive to lift cargo to space. PDE engine can be big, rocket diameter sized, 9 m diameter in BFR rocket, if large volume helps tame down FAE explosion waves.
Rocket sled launch from mountaintop or air launch would be best for FAE / PDE powered rocket? And for other rocket types too. Low thrust to weight rocket would benefit from rocket sled launch or air launch.
“Are conventional explosives viable for pulsed propulsion?” is about explosives as rocket fuel. But idea is to use very small packs of explosives in “fishnet” and exploded rapid succession, not large amount of explosives in big explosion. Many small fast pace explosions can be like almost normal rocket propulsion, altough fuel has many times energy of normal rocket propellants. “Explosive propulsion - Kerbal space” and old Nasa study “Explosive propulsion applications” are all that I found about using explosives as rocket propulsion. It is said that explosives need rocket chamber build like tank. Answer is to make chamber or nozzle bigger so blast waves have not so much energy than in small chamber or nozzle. Chamber or nozzle or bank of many of them can be 2-3 times larger diameter than rocket itsef. Or rocket is like letter V upside down with large bottom. And is said that explosion generates heat that chamber cannot stand. Answer to both pressure and heat problem is that both strong and light materials like graphene have been invented, and heat resistant materials have been invented also. Modern material science can perhaps build rocket nozzle or chamber that can withstand heat and pressure of continous series of small explosions. When rocket scientists answer that it cannot be build they use argument that was used in the 1950s when new modern materials were unknown. When someone makes this question about explosives and rockets in year 2050 do rocket scientists still answer “it can t be done” using 1950s arguments? Strangest argument is that chemical explosives have too little power to lift rocket to space. High explosives are most powerful material besides nuclear weapons on this earth, so that argument sounds strange to me. What is reason of this denial that rocket scientists reject high explosives, most powerful thing after atomic bomb? If pressure and heat resistant materials have been invented, why scientists not even study possibility to use high explosives as rocket propellant, because benefits of high explosives are so enormous, high explosive powered rocket would be giant step for space travel.
In netpage calqlata (com) is “Explosion calculator” and from there “Energy density”. In gaseous form gasoline (hexane, pentane, octane etc.) is most powerful explosive in the world, second is toluene and then naphtalene. Gasoline has 4,5 times power of hydrogen, toluene and naphtalene about 4 times more, Also ethanol (alcohol) has much more power than hydrogen in gas form when exploded. That is explosion energy of gases. So gasoline as gas is most energetic high explosive in the world. If rocket uses gasoline and oxygen, not as burning fuel but as explosive gas, it has 4,5 times spesific impulse of hydrogen rocket. Liquid gasoline and oxygen is made to gas and then injected straight to rocket nozzle and exploded there. Or “hybrid rocket” is used, gasoline and oxygen is partially burned in rocket chamber but some of it remain unburned in gas stream, then “afterburner” in nozzle explodes this remaining gasoline and oxygen. It is not afterburner but “afterexploder” rocket engine. Or part of gasoline / oxygen goes to chamber and burns there but part goes straight to nozzle and explodes there, not burns. That is hybrid “burner / explosive powered rocket”. Rocket that uses explosions only is “explosive powered rocket”. Toluene and naphtalene can be used also, and ethanol if it has some good explosive properties that makes it more suitable than other chemicals. Ethanol was used in rockets earlier, as burning fuel not explosive. Gasoline is not so extreme explosive like CL20 or other real high explosives. So this is fuel air explosive using oxygen and gasoline. Like pulse detonation engine rocket nozzle can have cycle of several thousand explosions per second, making explosions constant thrust. Gasoline, toluene, naphtalene and ethanol are cheap, and ethanol is biofuel. Rocket needs big nozzles so it looks like Kankoh-maru, short and wide with huge nozzles underside rocket. Big rocket nozzles makes explosive energy possible, enlarging diameter 2 times bigger makes volume 8 times larger. Even big explosion quenches when there is enough space. Same goes for heat energy of explosion. Nozzles made of some strong but light material. Long and narrow rockets can be made also, but rocket nozzles are 2-3 times larger diameter than rocket itself? Gasoline / oxygen explosions are more easy to conrol than real high explosives and have less extreme pressure peak velocity, so gasoline gas explosive rocket engine is relatively easy to build. Explosion has more energy than burning gasoline, and gasoline has 4,5 times explosive power of hydrogen in gas form. I don t know what is spesific impulse when gasoline is exploded in rocket nozzle, not burned in rocket chamber, but explosion gives more energy than just burning fuel? So gasoline explosive powered rocket have more spesific impulse than some nuclear rocket types and many times more than hydrogen burning rocket? That would be giant step for space travel even without using real high explosives. Why rocket scientists do not study these things if they promise so enormous benefits?
If rocket uses hydrogen / LOX, does exploding H2/LOX bring more energy that rocket can use as propulsion, than just burning hydrogen in rocket chamber? If it does, hybrid rocket burns hydrogen in chamber but also part of hydrogen is directed to exhaust nozzle where it explodes. This ratio of burning / explosions can be varied, so it brings variable thrust. Rocket nozzle can be expanding type, it is expanded in space. When not expanded, it is like flower petals closed. So when not expanded there is strong support in nozzle walls when several nozzle petals support it. So nozzle is strong enough that it withstands series of small explosions. When rocket chamber is using burning fuel and not explosions nozzle expands like opening flower.
Three stage rocket can have first stage solid booster naphtalene + oxidiser, or dynamite, TNT or other explosive, CL20 / TNT mix etc, second stage is benzene + LOX because benzene has light molecular weight, or JP10, RP1 etc., third stage is H2/LOX. All three stages use explosions for rocket propulsion, quick succession of explosions, perhaps thousands explosions in second.
Perhaps new type of explosives is needed, “medium explosives” in between high and low explosives. Explosives who release high energy but whose explosive characters are not so extreme like high explosives. If explosives can be “tuned” so that they release high level of energy in explosion but their pressure peak, and heat characters are less then real high explosives. Hydrocarbons like benzene have 4,5 times energy density of hydrogen, so gasoline mixture (RP1, JP10?) has high energy when exploded? Dynamite and TNT have energy density of 3,3 and 2,1 compared to hydrogen so suitable for rocket propellant. Ethanol is about 2,7 so ethanol is better than hydrogen when exploded?
Also: low molecular weight explosives (Ketones? Alkyli ethers? Others?), and binders (Oligomers?). Used in upper stages of rocket?
There is text “A reliable method for presenting the specific impulse of chemical propellant” 2018. It is comparison between explosives, semi - explosives and rocket propellants. In it is that TNT has less spesific impulse than normal rocket propellants, and other explosives have about same power than ordinary rocket propellants, and gasoline (RP1) is best. But dynamite and hydrogen are missing from the list. Dynamite has about 1.7 times energy density of TNT.
If rocket motor uses rocket fuel, but it has “afterburner” in the nozzle that adds some chemical compound to exhaust gases that makes gases more dense, more hotter, move faster etc. That additional material is injected in exhaust nozzle, not in rocket chamber. Zirkonium? Boron? Fluor? Drawback is that this additional material takes room and weight of fuel itself. But this additional “booster” material can increase rocket s spesific impulse so that reduction of fuel load is acceptable? So this is tripropellant rocket, but third material is injected to exhaust nozzle, exhaust nozzle is then the “afterburner”, if not injected in the engine chamber? US pat. 487441 “Explosive for warheads and solid rocket propellant” 1989.
In netpage “childrenofdeadearth boards net” is “Highexplosives as rocket fuels?” 2017. And phys org page text “New rocket propellant and motor design offer high performance and safety” 2014 about bipropellant solid fuel. Also “Using water as fuel” post in Robin Hood Coop forums how ships could use water - fuel emulsion as fuel and use also turbosteamer principle, so ships could then save diesel fuel. “Cheap astronomical telescopes” text in Robin Hood Coop forums.
“Products from the detonation of trinitrotoluene and some other navy explosives in air and nitrogen” 1988 / 1984 is that when TNT or other explosive explodes among decomposition products are hydrocarbons? And hydrogen? I cannot read that text so I don t know if I am right or wrong. So if rocket uses TNT or other explosive as fuel it can also use explosion products hydrocarbons and hydrogen to increase spesific impulse? Hydrocarbons and hydrogen can be burned or exploded. Also patent RU224470C2 “Dinitramide-based liquid single-based propellants”.

For making space rockets more effective: there was tripropellant rocket engine tested that used hot lithium, and had over 50% more specific impulse than hydrogen / oxygen mix. In atmosphere that would be too toxic to use, but outside atmosphere, when rockets are launched to moon and Mars etc., such rocket that has over 50% more specific impulse can be used. It is also third (or fourth) stage of rocket so it is small and light stage (not much fuel to burn) so it is easy to make and use? Lithium can stay hot those few minutes when launched outside atmosphere, or heat generated by airflow (it is the topmost part of the rocket) can be used to keep lithium hot. Isolation in tanks must be good so that liquid oxygen can stay cool and lithium hot. Also other type of hot liquid metal (Boron? Or other metals?) or nanoparticle metal rocket fuels can be used (not just ALICE) in rocket final stage if they have high specific impulse.
When rocket lifts off ground jet engines can be used as boosters. GE 90 is over 0,5 meganewton thrust and Pratt & Whitney F 119 / F135 series about 0,2 mN, and have mach 2,25 speed. Grouping several jet engines (or several dozens of them) as rocket booster is possible. This jet booster vehicle can take off and land back vertically perhaps, so it is reusable. Russian Baikal project has vertical take off and horisontal landing like airplane, and booster has small wings.
Fuel can be pumped to jet engines from the ground using fuel hoist / pipes when rocket lifts off the ground, and fuel is pumped up to 500 / 600 m high and then fuel hoist disconnects. After that booster uses its own fuel in tanks in booster vehicle. Usually rocket accelerates steadily, but jet booster can lift rocket up to 10 - 15 kilometer high in subsonic speed (using jet airliner bypass turbofans) or supersonic speed (using jet fighter / bomber turbojets). Only in altitude where jet engines do not work rocket engine starts and rocket starts accelerating to high speed (several kilometers per second) like space rockets normally do.
Jet boosters can be staged like rocket stages, to many stage jet boosters, first is bypass turbofan stage, after that mach 2-3 turbojet stage, and lastly scramjet stage, and after that normal rocket stages (with rocket engines). All three jet stages are reusable, so they land back to earth when most of their fuel is used.
Jets take their oxidiser from air, so only kerosene is needed, and jet engines have high efficiency. It is more simple to build reusable jet engine stages than reusable rocket booster stages that land back to earth.
In heavy rockets both jet boosters and normal rocket booster can be used in same time, core stage is normal rocket booster and surrounding boosters are jet engine boosters which during liftoff get fuel from the ground up to 500 - 600 m high using hoist / tubes and then use their own fuel. Fuel (kerosene) can also be pumped to rocket booster s tank up to 500 - 600 m high.
Really heavy rockets needs much power (several meganewtons or several dozen meganewtons) so several dozen jet engines are needed if very heavy rocket uses jet boosters.
Jet engine boosters can make space rockets more efficient and payload costs much cheaper than they are today. Also reusability is not a problem like in space rockets, jet engines are build for reusability in mind. Space rocket that uses jet stage (or stages) that land back to earth is more effective and more cheaper than space rockets that are not reusable, or if they are reusable, making normal rocket booster to land back to earth is difficult and risky. Jet stages can have vertical take off and landing, or they can land like airplane, or “air launch” can be used (which is simply airplane lifting rocket off the ground). But instead of air launch (airplane) concept or scramjet “spaceplane”, space rocket jet boosters can be build using VTOL concept so they are like normal rocket boosters stages, but use jet, not rocket, engines. Boosters consume most of rocket s fuel, so if jet engines can be used as boosters even partially in rocket s flight path, (from 10 - 20 km upwards rocket uses normal rocket engine power) that is big saving in rocket weight. From 10 - 20 km or higher normal rocket stages are used. Supersonic jet engines can work in 20 km or more altitude and scramjets much higher.
Using commercial jetliner bypass turbofans (GE 90) and/or military supersonic jet engines is cheaper than building exotic scramjet / ramjet “spaceplanes”. After jet engine stage(s) rocket is normal space rocket, and build like normal space rocket, and launched that way (vertically). Launching rocket horisontally makes this jet booster an aeroplane, but that is perhaps possible too in some versions. But that would then be like normal air launch concept (rocket travels with airplane in piggybag).
Using commercial jet engines and proven space rocket parts this kind of space rocket with multi - engine reusable jet booster(s) is cheap to build and cheap to operate, and much more efficient than rocket that uses just rocket boosters during liftoff?
Another possibility is to use steam balloon plus bypass turbofan booster together to lift rocket to air. It is proposed that steam balloons can lift rockets to atmosphere economically. If steam balloon is combined with turbofan jet booster, combined power can lift heavier rockets than balloon alone. Similar turbofans that high flying unmanned vehicles use can be used. Or other commercial bypass turbofans. Combined balloon and turbofan platform lift relatively lightweight rocket slowly to atmosphere. Or instead of jet engines turboprop engines can be used. It would then be like combined steam balloon and helicopter platform lifting rocket to air. Much heavier rockets can now be lifted than balloon alone. Rising speed is quite low, but cost is economical. When rocket platform reaches some altitude firstly balloon is disconnected and almost immediately after that turboprop or turbofan “booster”, and then rocket engine starts and rocket rises to space. Payload cost is lower than launching rocket from the ground, and heavier rocket with more payload can be used than balloon alone lifting rocket. Balloon can be reused and lifting platform "booster"also, if it is “helicopter” type turboprop, or turbofan powered, can be reused hundreds of times, making flights like normal aircraft.

Even most powerful, even most brisant high explosive can be used as rocket fuel. If rocket booster is 50-100m long and 1m wide, instead of usual rocket booster can be very narrow pencil - like solid explosive charges, 50-100m long. In top of rocket is firing system that uses different explosive that produces gas etc. to propel pencil shape charge to rocket nozzle, gases that propel charge downwards does not explode the charge, explosive charge is inside very narrow but long “launch tube” which is almost same size as narrow charge. When narrow charge enters rocket nozzle it explodes, but the speed of narrow charge is so fast that while narrow charge explodes it is also moving downwards very fast so explosion of 50-100m long but narrow charge happens inside rocket nozzle. When one long and narrow charge has exploded another takes its place in “firing system” inside rocket, or charges can be pre-assembled in rocket booster before launch and every one of those charges inside rocket has own “launch tube” downward and own speed charge (made of different explosive) in top of rocket that produces gases that make long and narrow charge move downward very fast. Long and narrow explosive charges explode inside rocket nozzle. Rocket booster can now have very high power and already during first seconds after launch have high acceleration and high G -forces acceleration even just seconds after launch.
The benefits of this system are twofold: the explosive charge is not stationary like rocket fuel, it has great speed already when it enters rocket nozzle, so when it explodes there that explosion is already moving downward at very high speed, rocket nozzle projects explosion downwards, and explosion products (gases) have then even greater speed when they leave nozzle. On the other hand explosive mass that is “shoot” downwards can act as reaction mass, launch charge that produces gases at top of the “barrel” that holds narrow but long explosive charge pushes against this long and narrow reaction mass, so launch charge provides additional thrust when it pushes explosive charge out of “barrel” launch tube to rocket nozzle. So it is like two thrust systems at same time operating. Explosive charge can be very narrow, even few centimeters wide or only one centimeter or less. But about 50-100m long perhaps. Charge is round or hexagonal shape like very long pencil or lead inside pencil, so very narrow but long, and inside “launch tube / barrel”, which itself is inside rocket. This launch tube is strong material, graphene hardened epoxy etc. There can be many launch tubes, or just one and some sort of “loading / firing system” in rocket. There can also be many rocket nozzles. Perhaps even one stage to orbit - rocket (or one stage to orbit and back - rocket is then reusable) is possible if highly energetic explosives are used. Or use this high explosive propelled rocket only as booster stage, or only as second / third stage etc.

The idea is to use high explosive as sort of twice-efficient propulsion system for space rockets. Long rod of HE that is very thin but long is loaded in “barrel” that uses perhaps revolving chamber principle like Tardik Tround. Loading system can be gas operated, it takes its operating energy from gases of explosion. It can be two barrel version like Gast gun, one “barrel” is firing when another loads. “Barrel” can be graphene hardened epoxy, or silicon carbide, or other material. This long rod of HE is shoot to rocket nozzle using another explosive as propelling charge, its gases is also used in gas operated loading / firing system. Shoot to high velocity HE rod goes to rocket nozzle where it explodes (burns fast), but speed of the rod when it enters nozzle is so fast that explosion (fast burning) of rod stays inside nozzle, several metres of HE rod explodes inside nozzle in some given (short) time but at same time rod moves fast to nozzle so it moves also several metres in the nozzle in that time and explosion happens in the nozzle only, until rod is exploded (burned fast) completely. This rod of HE is like fuse that burns fast, but this burning happens inside nozzle because rod moves fast downwards. This long HE rod is at same time recoil mass that is against gases of propeller charge, so recoil force of propeller charge pushes rocket upwards, and when HE rod enters nozzle it already has high speed, so gases of explosion in the nozzle have already great speed downwards during beginning of explosion, and it becomes even greater speed of hot gases when exploded, rocket nozzle turns that explosion to moving force. So this is like automatic cannon that shoots itself to space. It uses two way propulsion system, the HE rod against gases of propelling charge that gives HE rod high speed, and then explosion in the nozzle where already high speed of HE turns even higher speed when HE explodes. So this is sort of double efficiency propulsion system?

The rocket that uses high explosive as propulsion can have long “barrel”, 50 - 100m long, made of silicon carbide or other material, that is cut in half and open at one side all the way through. Long but thin rod of HE is loaded from barrel side to this half-barrel, barrel then rotates 180 degrees against pressure sleeve of silicon carbide, and then firing system uses another HE as propellant or gun powder to shoot this HE rod to high speed to rocket nozzle, HE rod explodes but explosion stays inside nozzle because HE rod has high speed downwards to nozzle. Loading / firing system uses gas operated mechanism to load rods sideways to barrel, rotate barrel and shoot them the rod to rocket nozzle. Multi barrel or two barrel (Gast) mechanism can be used for rapid firing. HE rod can be round shaped, hexagonal or triangular or other shape (like Dardick Tround). Rocket is just large HE rod magazine for this firing system, inside rocket is large amount of HE rods that are feed to “gun” inside rocket. Rotating lock / lockless gun / caseless ammunition etc. have been made for weapons, but this is similar system for rocket propulsion that uses HE rod as “bullet”. Although firing cycle is very rapid this is rough ride, vibrations are such that perhaps rocket cannot be manrated. This is sort of two or triple efficiency propulsion then? First HE rod that is fired is reaction block that pushes against propellant charge, so reaction force pushes rocket upwards, then HE rod has already high speed that increases specific impulse when HE rod enters nozzle, and when HE rod explodes explosion gases has both high speed of rod and added speed that explosion gases make, rocket nozzle projects this explosion to downwards and rocket gains thrust. This could make efficient propulsion system.
The “gun” has “barrel” that is at same time the “lock” of the “gun”. The “barrel” has one side open where HE rod loads, then rotates against pressure shield that is the other half of the “gun barrel”. This “gun” shoots itself to space. Perhaps some sort of vibration damping system can be used in payload section that makes vibrations smaller so payload module can be manrated and also scientific payloads don t suffer from vibrations. This vibration damping uses some of the weight otherwise going to payload, but not much payload weight is wasted. Other detonation engines: “World-first “impossible” rotating detonation engine fires up” 2020, “Impulse of a single-pulse detonation tube”, “Tangential impulse detonation engine”, russian patents impulse detonation engine. Perhaps CL20 and TNT mix can be used as “rocket fuel”. It is relatively cheap and stable? Or other high explosive.