Legend has it that a large working gunpowder-loaded gold fireworks rocket adorned the Buddhist temple stores in historical ages past. The value of this rocket, to Space1, is priceless, as it can serve as the next generation of economical pre-built test rockets for rapid development and deployment of a suite of mission tests. Space1 is searching for the modern day version of this rocket at the gold Buddhist temple stores in the Republic of China, the type of stores that have existed for centuries of dynasty.
November 2, 2016
The search for the gold rocket begins this week. Who knows what great mysteries we will find. Our first step was to enlist a Taiwanese (local) Mandarin Chinese speaking guide, a graduated engineer, to search at the mystic locations and help solve the mystery of the giant gold rocket.
The fireworks rocket originated in China and was used for war purposes. It's construction is of simple materials - gunpowder, paper, glue, ignition fuse, clay, and a stick. The gunpowder charge ranges in size from small ounce bottle rockets to massive several pound beasts, giving ranges from across the river line of sight to over miles high. These rockets may end with a report, explosion or pyrotechnics display to create a design in the night sky. Chinese fireworks are exported to locations all over the world. The value for Space1 is that fireworks rockets are an inexpensive way to test the atmosphere, ranging, stability, payloads, weather, timing, wind directions and changing conditions, stratus elements, G-forces, crew compartments, recovery deployment, various designs, and other rocket parameters.
Developed in the second-century BCE, by the ancient Chinese, fireworks are the oldest form of rockets and the most simplistic. Originally fireworks had religious purposes but were later adapted for military purposes during the Middle Ages in the form of "flaming arrows." During the tenth and thirteenth centuries the Mongols and the Arabs brought the major component of these early rockets to the West. Although the cannon and gun became the major developments from the eastern introduction of gunpowder, a tickling of rockets also resulted. These rockets were essentially enlarged fireworks which propelled, further than the long bow or cannon, packages of explosive gunpowder.
Gunpowder's relatively low specific impulse (amount of thrust per unit propellant) limits its capacity of thrust production on larger scales. Fireworks are the simplest of solid rockets and the weakest. Evolution from fireworks brought about more complex solid-fueled rockets, which use more exotic and powerful fuels. The low-explosive properties of gunpowder, relative to the high-explosive properties of more advanced solid fuels testify to the "survival of the fittest," as the use of firework-type engines (for purposes other than entertainment or education) has virtually ceased since the late nineteenth century. Yet with all these drawbacks fireworks will continue to maintain their use as a traditional pastime with an on-going history of nearly 5,000 years.