Stoke Space, a Washington-based startup, has secured $100 million in funding to advance the development of its fully reusable rocket named “Nova.” The investment round was led by Industrious Ventures, with participation from investors such as Breakthrough Energy, University of Michigan, Sparta Group, YCombinator, and others.
Stoke aims to compete with SpaceX by taking a unique approach, focusing on developing and testing the second stage of the rocket before the first stage. Stoke’s CEO, Andy Lapsa, explained that this approach allows them to build the right first stage to complement the second stage, rather than adding it later.
Stoke’s Nova is designed as a “medium” class rocket capable of delivering 5,000 kilograms to low Earth orbit, positioning it between Rocket Lab’s “light” Electron and SpaceX’s “heavy” Falcon 9. The company recently completed a low-altitude launch of its rocket-powered prototype, Hopper2. Stoke’s strategy involves evolving Hopper2 into an orbit-ready second stage and building the large first stage of the rocket.
The funding will support Stoke in reaching the market sooner and fortifying its position in the commercial space economy. The startup has a manufacturing and engineering facility in Kent, Washington, and a test facility in Moses Lake, Washington. The Space Force has assigned Stoke a launchpad at Cape Canaveral, Florida, which the company is beginning to develop.
Stoke aims to provide value to the satellite industry by shortening the time from factory to revenue and contributing to the evolution of the commercial space sector. The funding round was joined by notable investors, and Steve Angel, chairman of chemicals giant Linde, will join Stoke’s board of directors.
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