Stoke Space, a Washington-based space tech startup, has recently secured funding from In-Q-Tel, the venture arm of the U.S. intelligence community, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and other government agencies. The company aims to develop reusable rockets that can launch small satellites into orbit. The funding will help Stoke Space accelerate the development of its reusable rocket and bring it to market.
The reusable rocket is designed to be a fully reusable vehicle that can take off and land like an airplane. It is a medium-lift rocket powered by liquid natural gas/liquid oxygen for the first stage and liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen for the second stage. This will allow the reusable rocket to achieve high speeds and altitudes while also being more environmentally friendly than traditional rocket engines.
Stoke Space believes that the technology will be a game-changer for the small satellite industry. Currently, small satellites are launched into orbit using traditional rockets, which can be expensive and have limited availability. Their rocket will offer a more affordable and flexible alternative, allowing companies to launch their satellites on demand and at a lower cost.
The funding from In-Q-Tel is a significant milestone for Stoke Space. In-Q-Tel is known for investing in cutting-edge technologies that have the potential to benefit the intelligence community. The fact that the venture arm of the intelligence community is investing in Stoke Space is a testament to the potential of the technology and its ability to revolutionize the space industry.
Stoke Space is not the only company working on reusable rockets. SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic are all developing their own versions of reusable rockets. However, Stoke Space believes that its rockets will have several advantages over its competitors. For one, it will be able to carry a larger payload than other reusable rockets. Additionally, the hybrid rocket engine will make it more environmentally friendly than traditional rocket engines.
Update 5/20/23 to correct inaccuracies about the source of funding and information about the reusable rockets.