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The Spaceship with a concave bottom is kept on top of a hole which contains water. A nuclear blast then converts the water to steam which gives the thrust to the spaceship.

My question is that is this method feasible, if not then why?


First, heavy water and its steam would rather dampen the blast than amplify it. It's not how thermonuclear charges work. But that's a technicality...

If you want to deliver raw materials into space, this is semi-viable (incurring a significant loss during travel through the atmosphere as the outer surface will melt into plasma). But with proper ablators, heat shielding etc, it would be somewhat doable, though not easy. And there's risk of significant irradiation of the cargo.

If you want to deliver anything slightly fragile (say, more fragile than a solid block of of steel) it will shatter due to impact of the blast, the acceleration exerting force of a concentrated thermonuclear blast.

No humans, no electronics, no rocket engines, no systems or structures.

And due to lack of these it won't be able to circularize the orbit once above the atmosphere, so unless you launch it at a speed that would allow escape from Earth's gravity, it will just fall back to Earth, even if it was to cross Moon orbit on the way. Simply, any "orbit" achieved by a single, point acceleration passes through that point (approaching from the opposite side) - and since that point is on Earth surface, it means the payload will hit Earth somewhere "on the other side".

Although, as I wrote - this is semi-viable. At higher orbits the energy to change orbit (circularize) is relatively low, so if the payload was encountered by an orbital "tug" that could give it an acceleration (or some kind of propulsion was developed that would survive the nuclear blast) - yes,the payload could be brought to orbit.

  • $\begingroup$ So to summarise (suppose I don't want my ship to orbit) then the main problem according to you is tremendous initial acceleration that the ship would not be able to sustain. $\endgroup$ – Infi Nov 25 '15 at 15:49
  • $\begingroup$ Your scenario is with a single explosion rather than a continuous one right ? $\endgroup$ – Antzi Nov 25 '15 at 19:17
  • $\begingroup$ I disagree with the "no electronics" here--we can pack electronics into artillery shells so I wouldn't rule out electronics in this case. I wouldn't even say "no rocket engines"--they build rocket engines that can take being fired from artillery. The circularization burn is small enough that a solid rocket motor could do it. $\endgroup$ – Loren Pechtel Nov 25 '15 at 21:54
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    $\begingroup$ @SF. And in those 70 years we are turning around and looking at railguns--the prototypes of them doing 60,000g. At railgun ranges you'll have to guide them to get a hit--they're planning to build a guidance system that can take that 60,000g. $\endgroup$ – Loren Pechtel Nov 26 '15 at 0:26
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    $\begingroup$ Let us continue this discussion in chat. $\endgroup$ – SF. Nov 26 '15 at 7:01

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