An image of engines being tested by Stoke Space. No details have been announced for this engine design. In December 2021, the company received $65 million in a funding round led by Bill Gates-founded Breakthrough Energy Ventures. Credit: Stoke Space

Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures has backed Stoke Space’s goal of creating a fully-reusable rocket.

Breakthrough Energy Ventures is part of a network of organizations called Breakthrough Energy, which was founded by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, and funds a number of clean tech initiatives. The organization led a Series A funding round that brought some $65 million to the Seattle-based rocket startup.

“There is no better way to see the Earth and the severity of its climate challenges than looking at the entire globe from space,” Carmichael Roberts, co-leader of Breakthrough Energy Ventures’ investment committee said in a press release last month.

Stoke Space was founded in 2019 by a group of former Blue Origin and SpaceX employees. In May of 2020, Stoke Space won a SBIR Phase 1 grant from the National Science Foundation to finance the company’s development of an integrated propulsion solution for reusable rocket upper stages, raised another $9.1 million in seed funding led by NFX and MaC Ventures in early 2021, and in December 2021 raised $65 million in a Series A round to build and test the upper stage of a environmentally friendly recycled rocket.

According to its website, Stoke Space was formed to develop low-cost, on-demand access to and from space to any orbit at any time. The company “envisions a future where space is even more important to the global economy than intercontinental trade is today, for the purpose of preserving our planet while scaling our civilization. That future depends on moving goods to and from space with orders of magnitude better efficiency. Solving that problem is Step 1 in our vision.”

Video courtesy of Stoke Space

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