Maine aerospace company launches world’s first biofuel rocket

BluShift completed Maine’s first successful commercial rocket launch
BluShift Aerospace Launch (File)
BluShift Aerospace Launch (File)(WAGM)
Published: Jan. 31, 2021 at 8:27 PM EST
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LIMESTONE, Maine (WMTW) - A new chapter in private spaceflight took off in Limestone, Maine on Sunday.

BluShift Aerospace successfully completed a successful launch of their Stardust 1.0 rocket.

It was the first commercial rocket launch in Maine’s history.

According to BluShift Founder and CEO Sascha Deri, Stardust was the first commercial rocket to be powered by a bio-derived fuel.

“We have made history here in Maine,” Deri said shortly after his team completed the launch Sunday afternoon.

The rocket was scheduled to take off between 10 and 11 a.m. Sunday. A series of issues, mainly posed by sub-freezing temperatures at the launch site, forced a several false-starts and delays.

Early data showed the rocket flew just under 5,000 feet before its parachutes deployed and landed a few hundred yards away from their staging area.

Deri said he hopes his company can carve out a new space in the emerging private spaceflight industry. He likened well-known companies like SpaceX to a “freight train to space,” where as his company would be like “Uber to space.”

“I think it’s an incredible moment to put the stake in the new space commerce, to demonstrate that Maine is officially entering the new space race and we plan to be part of this,” Deri said.

Stardust 1.0 carried four small “micro satellites,” including one designed by Falmouth High School students for its maiden flight.

Blueshift’s business plan moving forward will include delivering micro satellites and other small payloads into low- or zero-gravity orbit for customers.

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