An apparatus for generation of steam in a borehole for penetration into an earth formation wherein feedback preheater means are provided for the fuel and water before entering the combustor assembly. First, combustion gases are conducted from the combustion chamber to locations in proximity to the water and fuel supplies. Secondly, both hot combustion gases and steam are conducted from the borehole back to the water and fuel supply. The water used for conversion to steam is passed in a countercurrent manner through a plurality of annular water flow channels surrounding the combustion chamber. In this manner, the water is preheated, and the combustion chamber is cooled simultaneously, thereby minimizing thermal stresses and deterioration of the walls of the combustion chamber. The water is injected through slotted inlets along the combustion chamber wall to provide an unstable boundary layer and stripping of the water from the wall for efficient steam generation. Pressure responsive doors are provided at the steam outlet of the combustor assembly. The outlet doors and fluid flow functions may be controlled by a diagnostic/control module. The module is positioned in the water flow channel to maintain a relatively constant, controlled temperature.