WASHINGTON — A startup founded by a group of former Blue Origin and SpaceX employees has raised a seed round of funding to support their effort to make a fully reusable launch vehicle.Stoke Space Technologies announced Feb. 25 it raised $9.1 million in seed funding in a round led by venture funds NFX and MaC Ventures. Several others funds and individuals participated in the round, including Y Combinator; Seven Seven Six, a new fund established by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian; and Liquid2, a fund that previously invested in satellite manufacturer Astranis.Stoke, based in the Seattle suburb of Renton, Washington, has no shortage of ambition. Its goal, the company said in its announcement of the funding round, is “100% reusable rockets designed to fly daily” that it claims could reduce the cost of space access by a factor of 20.“We’re still in ‘reusability 1.0’ and it’s time to go to ‘reusability 2.0,’” Andy Lapsa, co-founder and chief executive of Stoke, said in an interview, citing efforts by SpaceX to recover and reuse the first stage of its Falcon 9 launch vehicle. “In reusability 1.0, these are things that can be reused but they’re not necessarily things that are operationally efficient to reuse. Reusability 2.0 is the next step, where we’re now focused on operations and quick turnaround.”In that vision, both the rocket’s upper and lower stages would be reusable and able to be turned around quickly for another launch. “If it’s designed to fly daily and be turned around quickly, there’s a whole lot of things you are not doing,” he said, such as tearing the vehicle down between flights and doing detailed inspections. Such a vehicle would instead rely on automated checks with a minimum of labor and maintenance.The nine-person company is currently focused on the vehicle’s upper stage. While SpaceX has demonstrated the ability to routinely reuse first stages and other companies, like Blue Origin, are following a similar path, second stages are more challenging because of their higher velocities and energies. SpaceX for a time pursued an effort to make the Falcon 9 second stage reusable, but eventually abandoned that. “The second stage is the last big domino to fall in reusable rockets,” he said......
The description of a second stage nozzle design that "achieves high area ratio gas expansion within a form factor ten times shorter than traditional bell nozzles" and "[accommodates] deep throttle operation in the presence of atmospheric pressure" that "integrated into the vehicle base, the engine nozzle serves as an actively cooled metallic heat shield" sounds very much like the old plug-nozzle/truncated-aerospike concept. A horizontal-flow/'tray' nozzle would fir the 1/10 length parameter, but as far as I am aware the horizontal flow concept has never existed outside of paper engines (unlike other aerospike designs).
Another image of what appears to be that same set of test engines on the stand. They seems to have cleaned up the mixture ratio, because the exhaust is a lot cleaner. EDIT: Also, is it just me, or is there a little blue plume to one side of each of the main plumes? Turbine Gas?
Stoke are starting with reuseable 2nd stage then booster. Strange way of doing things for startup. Better to build booster first along with low cost expendable 2nd stage and start earning money, then tackle more difficult reuseable 2nd stage. While recovering 2nd stage is quite feasible the issue is more what is payload hit and cost of turning stage around. https://www.geekwire.com/2021/breakthrough-energy-ventures-leads-65m-funding-round-for-stoke-spaces-reusable-rocket-stages/
Stoke Space raises $65 million for reusable launch vehicle developmenthttps://spacenews.com/stoke-space-raises-65-million-for-reusable-launch-vehicle-development/
Quote from: whitelancer64 on 12/15/2021 10:55 pmStoke Space raises $65 million for reusable launch vehicle developmenthttps://spacenews.com/stoke-space-raises-65-million-for-reusable-launch-vehicle-development/Another one🙄
So they are basically aspiring to compete with Rocketlab Neutron and both of them are attempting to leapfrog Firefly, ABL, and Relativity with a next generation approach to launch cost and operations.
Quote from: Blackjax on 12/16/2021 01:27 pmSo they are basically aspiring to compete with Rocketlab Neutron and both of them are attempting to leapfrog Firefly, ABL, and Relativity with a next generation approach to launch cost and operations.Neutron is a different animal, not fully reusable and much larger.iRocket Shockwave is similar to Stoke - fully reusable, 1500 kg to LEO. Founded two years earlier, should be some steps ahead.