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Maine aerospace company successfully tests unique new rocket engine

bluShift Aerospace says its rocket is powered by a non-toxic, carbon-neutral fuel
Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 6:19 PM EST
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BRUNSWICK, Maine (WMTW) - A Maine-based NewSpace startup has successfully tested a full-scale version of a new rocket engine.

bluShift Aerospace ignited its MAREVL 2.0 engine at Brunswick Tech Place Tuesday night for a static test fire. The engine is powered by a non-toxic, carbon-neutral, bio-derived solid fuel. It is 8 feet long and has a diameter of 2 feet.

The company says the test is the culmination of eight years of R&D, over two hundred tests using smaller rocket engines.

After the successful test, bluShift CEO Sascha Deri thanked his team of engineers. “I’m still shaking, and my heart is pounding a thousand beats per second, but wow – this test was exactly what we were hoping for,” he said.

The company says the successful test clears a path toward bluShift’s next suborbital rocket, Starless Rogue, and orbital rocket, Red Dwarf. The latter will deliver cubeSats and nanosats into polar orbit around the Earth. The small but powerful satellites can be produced cheaply and quickly by companies and research institutions who are seeking affordable and timely ways to get to space.

The company says there were 135 rocket launches worldwide in 2021, up from 104 in 2020 but that the byproducts from standard rocket engines’ exhaust are toxic, carbon-intensive, and harmful to the atmosphere.

On Jan. 31, 2021, bluShift made history when it launched the first commercial rocket in the world powered by eco-friendly, bio-derived fuel from Loring Commerce Centre in Limestone.

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