“Stoke Space hops its upper stage, leaping toward a fully reusable rocket” – Ars Technica

September 18, 2023 – Eric Berger / Ars Technica – At an airfield in Eastern Washington on Sunday, the small launch company Stoke Space flew its upper stage for the first time.

The flight was, admittedly, rather modest. The second-stage rocket only ascended to about 30 feet (9 meters) and traveled just several feet down range. The entire flight was over in 15 seconds.

And yet this was a momentous step for Stoke Space, which is less than 4 years old and has only about 90 employees. The test successfully demonstrated the performance of the company’s oxygen-hydrogen engine, which is based on a ring of 30 thrusters; the ability to throttle this engine and its thrust vector control system; as well as the vehicle’s avionics, software, and ground systems.

“It was a tiny little bunny hop,” said Stoke Space co-founder Andy Lapsa in an interview with Ars. “But it was the icing on the cake. It was great to get that notch in our belt.”

Continue Reading the article: https://arstechnica.com/space/2023/09/stoke-space-hops-its-upper-stage-leaping-toward-a-fully-reusable-rocket/