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Stoke Space closer to launching reusable rocket from Florida's Space Coast

Image of Stoke Space's second stage testing
Stoke Space
At Stoke Space’s test site in Moses Lake, Washington, the company successfully conducted a vertical takeoff and vertical landing (VTVL) developmental test flight of its reusable second stage rocket.

The private space company Stoke Space is one step closer to launching its new Nova rocket from the Space Coast thanks to a $100 million additional investment.

The Series B funding brings the total invested to $175 million, which will help the company develop its fully reusable rocket and new construction at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station's Launch Complex 14.

"This new round of funding is a huge vote of confidence in our team and the progress we’ve made,” said Andy Lapsa, co-founder and CEO. “We will now continue moving through our development program by increasing focus on our reusable first stage.”

Stoke Space is developing the first and second stage of its Nova rocket, with plans to recover and reuse both portions of the rocket.

Companies like SpaceX recover the first stage booster by landing it vertically, but not the upper stage -- typically, it burns up in the atmosphere. Stoke Space wants to land both.

"We're one of the only companies working on fully rapidly reusable vehicles," Lapso told WMFE. "We are trying to make the most robust rocket ever so that it can go to space and back and turn around very quickly."

Nova missions will launch from Cape Canaveral’s Launch Complex 14, the site of John Glenn’s first orbital mission in 1962. The Mercury-Atlas 6 mission launched Glenn in his Freedom 7 capsule — and he became the first American to orbit the Earth during his five-hour mission.

Stoke Space plans to honor the site's historical significance in human spaceflight history.

"First and foremost we are all fans of history and students of history and want to see those things preserved as well," said Lapso. "We're trying to find the right way to do that and even enhance that while also building the future."

The company hopes to launch its first orbital rocket from Cape Canaveral as early as 2025.

Brendan Byrne is WMFE's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the WMFE newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing WMFE's internship program.

Byrne also hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration.
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