Stoke Space stakes its claim in the launch industry’s rush to fully reusable rockets

Alan Boyle, GeekWire –

In just six months, Kent, Wash.-based Stoke Space Technologies has turned a blank stretch of ground in Moses Lake, Wash., into a bridgehead for building a fully reusable rocket optimized for satellite launches.

“It was barren desert as recently as April,” co-founder and CEO Andy Lapsa told GeekWire, “and we were able to get all of the facilities up and running in order to run long-duration, liquid-hydrogen, liquid-oxygen rocket engine testing out there.”

The 2.3-acre test facility at Moses Lake’s airport already has seen action: Last month, Stoke Space completed a manufacturing demonstration of a full-scale second stage for its yet-to-be-named rocket. The two-year-old startup has also done full-power test firings of components for its second-stage rocket engine, a triplet of thrust chambers that Lapsa calls the “three-pack.”

“We did them on time and under budget actually, which I’m very proud of,” said Lapsa, a veteran of Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture. “You don’t hear that too much in our industry.”

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