BRUNSWICK — After more than five years of planning and development, Brunswick-based bluShift Aerospace plans to launch its first rocket powered by a new biofuel Friday morning in Limestone.

The launch is scheduled for 8 a.m., pending results from testing bluShift conducted Thursday. The launch will be streamed live.

bluShift CEO Sascha Deri said the company chose to do the launch at Loring Commerce Centre where there wouldn’t be a risk to people or property if something went wrong.

Deri said that, to his knowledge, it’s the first commercial rocket launch in Limestone or in Maine.

The 20-foot-long, 550-pound rocket will launch almost a mile into the sky before descending under a parachute. The hope is that it will land on the runway at Loring and not the thick trees surrounding the former Air Force base.

“The final goal is to turn around and provide those payloads back to our customers,” Deri said.

The company hopes to advance to launching small satellites into space if successful its fuel and rocket are successful.

The rocket will carry a research project developed by Falmouth High School students that will gather environmental data. Kellogg’s Research Labs out of New Hampshire is testing a new alloy that can convert vibration into heat. Another customer, Rocket Insight, is launching stroopwafel and tourmaline.

At a press conference Thursday, Deri said bluShift will continue its research and development at Brunswick Landing going forward, noting that the business incubator there, TechPlace, there has helped with much of the tooling and composite work. Brunswick Landing also offers space for bluShift to expand and build larger rockets, Deri said.

bluShift successfully fired up the rocket engine outside their headquarters at Brunswick Landing on Jan. 5. The rocket fired successfully for the requisite 11 seconds.


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