Private companies are getting more and more involved in the space race, whether it’s to the moon, Mars, or somewhere else. But since clean fuels and lowering carbon footprints are getting more attention, some people are thinking about how to make the space race green. Big companies like SpaceX fly rockets that land back on earth and can be used again, but a startup in Seattle wants to go even further.
Stoke Space is making a rocket that can put satellites into orbit around the earth. It will be powered by clean fuel and can be used over and over again. It was started by and is run by the CEO of Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’s space company.
Stoke Space is still in the beginning stages of testing the rocket, and sending satellites into space is still a long way off. It is still having trouble, not only with technology but also with funding and government rules. But its plans are big, and they are based on the idea of sending up more satellites to fight climate change.
Andy Lapsa, CEO of Stoke Space, said, “As we build this important in-space economy and infrastructure, we need to think ahead about how to do it in a way that is sustainable and can grow.”
The rocket is made to go up and then come back down. Both the lower and upper stages, which are also called the booster and second stages, can be used again right away.
“You don’t have to rebuild the rocket for every mission, so that gets you out of a production-limited paradigm and into an operations-limited paradigm, which is very important,” said Lapsa.
Lapsa says that there is a “bottleneck” in the satellite business right now because more and more satellites are being made.
“There is a lot of pent-up demand, especially if you look into the middle and end of this decade, that the launch industry is just not set up to meet or meet yet,” he said.
Christian Garcia, partner, and managing director at Breakthrough Energy Ventures said, “When we think about all the things you can do from space to help the earth and the climate, we have to start with the launch.” We have to start with an ultra-low cost, sustainable, reusable launch.”
Garcia also says that Stoke is different from its competitors because it focuses on climate problems on Earth and not on trips to the moon or Mars.
“We’ve thought for a long time that space technologies could help reduce carbon emissions. We have been thinking about how to send out more satellites that focus on climate problems for many years. How do we find things like methane leaks, which can cause a lot of warming? How do we find out about wildfires right away? He asked, “How do we protect our natural resources, such as our forests and oceans, which play an important role in our ecosystem by absorbing carbon?”
Along with Breakthrough Energy, investors include Spark Capital, Toyota Ventures, Point72 Ventures, MaC Venture Capital, and NFX Ventures. So far, it has raised $100 million.