Stoke Space, a company developing a fully reusable rocket, has launched Fusion, a new tool for hardware firms to track the design, testing and integration of parts. CEO Andy Lapsa said the solution was born out of ”ubiquitous pain in the industry”. He said many existing tools were not optimized “for boots on the ground”, and were aimed at finance or procurement teams, or top management. Fusion will optimize simple inventory transactions and parts organization, allowing tracking throughout their lifecycle. In the event of a hardware failure, teams can use Fusion to connect anomalous data to exact serial numbers of the parts involved.
While Fusion may have its roots in the in-house need of Stoke’s own team to manage a complex rocket design, it has been optimised to suit start-ups, where speed and accuracy are paramount. “The parts are changing, the people are changing, the processes are changing,” said Brent Bradbury, Stoke’s head of software. “This lets us capture all that as it happens without a whole lot of extra work”.
Fusion will find particular relevance among hardware start-ups, according to Lapsa. Many existing tools are designed for production runs, not the fast-moving research and development environment that many hardware start-ups find themselves in. It is aimed at the unsexy, but essential, aspect of the hardware workflow. Stoke Space is certainly among the pioneering rocket companies that continue to generate revenue, even as the vehicles they are developing are still in their design, launch and testing phases.
Earlier this month, Stoke raised $9.1m in seed funding, with investors including NFX, MaC Ventures, Seven Seven Six and Liquid2 Ventures. Its reusable rocket will be able to deploy small satellites into space at lower cost than traditional rocket launches. Stoke, along with several other space companies including SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, illustrates the growing shift in the space industry towards more sustainable and cost-efficient practices.