The American space company Stoke Space, which is developing a fully reusable rocket model, conducted a test of the upper rocket stage of its future rocket for the first time yesterday.
The prototype of the rocket stage is called Hopper 2, and in the video below, you can see how it lifted about four meters into the air before landing again. The test took about 15 seconds in total. Stoke themselves wrote about the test:
With this test campaign, we also reached several industry milestones: Stoke conducted the first flight test of a reusable Vertical Takeoff Vertical Landing (VTVL) rocket that uses differential throttling for attitude control. We also conducted the first flight test of a reentry vehicle that uses an active regeneratively cooled heat shield; although this vehicle didn’t directly experience the heat from hypersonic atmospheric re-entry, it has successfully operated at 100% of the expected heat load in a simulated environment.
Stoke Space’s goal is to build a rocket whose both stages can be reused just 24 hours after landing. The company states in a post that they will now focus on the first stage of the rocket. Sometime around 2025, the company plans to launch its first rocket into space.