Patent Number: 7,784,269

Title: System and method for cooling rocket engines

Abstract: A propulsion system for a rocket engine and a method of cooling a rocket engine includes a propellant tank fluidically coupled to the rocket engine to hold a pressurized propellant, a coolant tank to hold a coolant, a first heat exchanger thermally coupled to the rocket engine and fluidically coupled to the coolant tank, a second heat exchanger thermally coupled to the propellant tank and fluidically coupled to the first heat exchanger, and a third heat exchanger disposed inside the propellant tank to thermally couple a propellant withdrawn from the tank for combustion to a propellant disposed inside the tank. The coolant flows from the coolant tank to the first heat exchanger and through the first heat exchanger to cool the rocket engine. The propellant withdrawn from the propellant tank receives heat from the propellant disposed inside the tank through the third heat exchanger to convert to a gaseous propellant when withdrawn from the propellant tank as a liquid propellant. The coolant flows from the first heat exchanger to the second heat exchanger and through the second heat exchanger to heat the propellant disposed inside the propellant tank.

Inventors: Greason; Jeffrey K. (Tehachapi, CA), DeLong; Daniel L. (Mojave, CA), Jones; Douglas B. (Mojave, CA)

Assignee: Xcor Aerospace

International Classification: F02K 9/00 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 8/31/12018