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Point to point rocket transportation

Founder Lightsphere

I know very little about the very little and even less about the very large. A lifetime of study and experience has yielded a pretty good feel for transport phenomena, thermodynamics, scaling...

  • Member since 2017
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  • Jun 22, 2022


                                                                    SuperHero Liquid Rocket Engines

SuperHero reaction driven centrifugal turbopumps (Figs.1&2) are immersed in liquid rocket engine combustion chambers to reduce cost, mass, and volume. Reactants are ejected tangentially into combustion chambers at very high velocities and pressures and the resulting products heat the pressurized reactants in the rotating tubes. The pumps are self-powered, self-cooled, and combine drive and driven turbopump elements in simple low cost rotors. Very high pressures can be achieved with a portion of the pressure used for rotor drive and the remainder for combustion chamber pressurization and mixing.

Power density is inversely proportional to length (1/L) and a large population of small engines allows further reductions in cost, mass, and volume in addition to throttleability via modularity, reliability via parallelism, thrust vectoring, and improved manufacturability.   

Fig.1 is a SuperHero centrifugal turbopump with radial tubes composed of commodity 304 stainless steel hypodermic tubes with 1.5mm OD & 0.1mm wall (17Ga).


Fig.2 is a SuperHero centrifugal turbopump with a backswept stainless steel hypodermic tube array with C-D nozzles via plastic deformation and with brazed 4GPa tire cord wire supporting rings. Backswept tubes reduce drag and increase fill factor


A SuperHero liquid methane turbopump with 0.1m radial length liquid phase rotating at 60krpm will develop a centrifugal pressure of 850 bar. (1/2ρr2ω2)0.5 X 430kg/m3 X 0.1m2 X 62832 =8.5 X107N/m2 or 850 bar. 17 Gauge thinwall 304 SS hypodermic tubing has a radius of 0.75mm, a wall thickness of 0.1mm, and a tensile yield strength of 944MPa. The hoop stress at 850 atmospheres (s=pr/t) is 638MPa, which yields a safety factor ~ 1.5. 2GPa 301 SS and 4GPa wire braided sleeve allow much higher pressures.


                          Fig. 3 Liquid Rocket Engine with Self-propelled Self-cooled SuperHero Turbopumps                               

                  Fig. 2 Liquid Rocket Engine with Self-propelled Self-cooled SuperHero Turbopumps

In Figs. 3&4, wall cooling is provided by a SuperHero driven turbopump forcing methane or oxygen down the outermost annular passage of the Foil/Screen/Foil/Screen/Foil composite and up the innermost annular passage where it enters the combustion chamber to meet and mix with the oxygen or methane being emitted by the hot side drive turbopump. A toroidal hot gas recirculation loop in the combustion chamber is used for mixing and heating the propellant in the hot side immersed turbopump.

A lightweight rocket engine pressure vessel can be constructed of a brazed composite of copper Foil/Screen/Foil/Screen/Foil with pressure forces absorbed by an exterior matrix of brazed brass clad 4GPa tire cord wire.

The foils have apertures to allow some coolant from the outer downward passage to flow to the inner upward passage, and to allow some coolant from the inner upward passage to flow to the engine chamber.

The wire comprising the brazed wireform exterior matrix can be applied via an electrically conductive wheel which resistively heats the wire as applied in conjunction with the electrically conductive copper composite shell in a process similar to roll spot brazing. Wire can be applied via a programmable robotic arm with an annular grooved wheel for wire capture in conjunction with a shell capable of rotation about the engine axis. The initial wire layer can be a close packed annular helix for structure and hoop strength.

The “roll brazing” system allows freedom of angular placement by rigidizing the wire connection as applied

Foil and screen elements can be plastically deformed in halves via hydroforming or matched tools. Assembly for inner to outer layers can include rotating halves 900 in each successive layer. Inner and outer foil layers can be laser welded.

Foil/Screen/Foil composites are attractive for heat exchange, structure and mixing and can provide a surprising large volume for fluid passage.

Fig. 5

Fig. 6 Flow Paths Thru Wall Confined Screen (Wire Cloth)


 Fig. 7 Screen and Wall Connected by Braze Metal Shown in Gray

Turbomachines and associated elements can be installed sequentially in opening at vessel top with sequential brazing or welding of shell components. 

Annular arrays of SuperHero liquid fueled rocket engines can be placed around the upper regions of vertical cylindrical rockets for stability and reduced footprint with directional control via thrust vectoring.


A part of our future belongs to “point-to-point” rocket travel. The benefits include reduced time in a gravitational environment and reduced time in a frictional atmosphere. Capital cost can be reduced by an increase in the number of trips per unit time and by the rockets outlined in this document. Modern airliners cost ~ a million dollars per passenger seat. There is plenty of room for an improvement in transportation-its time.

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