An image from the January launch of Stardust 1.0, bluShift Aerospace’s first rocket. Courtesy of bluShift Aerospace

Brunswick-based rocket company bluShift Aerospace recently launched a crowdfunding campaign with a goal of just over $1 million.

As of Sunday, the company had raised $278,000 of the $300,000 goal in the initial family and friends round.

BluShift, which operates out of Brunswick Landing, made headlines in January for becoming the first in Maine to launch a commercial rocket and the first in the world to launch a commercial rocket using bio-derived fuel.

The launch of that rocket, known as Stardust 1.0, took place in Limestone and reached an altitude of just under a mile.

Founder and CEO of bluShift Aerospace Sascha Deri. Courtesy of bluShift Aerospace

“One of the primary reasons that we did that launch was to not only demonstrate the technology, but demonstrate to potential investors that, you know, we got this,” said bluShift Aerospace CEO and founder Sascha Deri.

According to Deri, bluShift will open the crowdfunding campaign to the general public on Wednesday.

“Investors of all financial capacities have the ability to make a pledge at whatever level they wish, starting at $100 and up, and the transaction can be safely completed online,” said Deri.

The company describes its business model as the Uber of space, where it will target a specific customer who wishes to send a payload into a particular orbit. A payload typically consists of satellites, experiments or other objects that customers pay to launch into orbit.

In the meantime, the company has started developing an engine for their rocket known as Starless Rogue. According to Deri, if all goes to plan, an under-fueled beta version of the rocket would launch sometime in spring of 2022 at a to-be-determined location on Maine’s coast.

According to the company’s website, the final version of Starless Rogue will be a full-sized commercial suborbital rocket standing 37 feet tall and capable of a maximum altitude of 150 miles.

While bluShift originally planned to launch Stardust 2.0 sometime in 2021, Deri said that that launch, while still possible, is less likely to happen now as the company spends more time on research and development.

At Brunswick Landing, bluShift is moving into a hangar, which will give the company extra space for construction of the rockets.

Deri said that Brunswick Landing and the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority has been “incredible” at accommodating the needs of the aerospace company and, as of now, the company has no plans to leave Maine.

While the bio-derived fuel used to power the rockets is a company secret, Deri has said it is environmentally friendly, non-toxic and carbon neutral.

“Our fuel — it is a solid — you could drop in the water, the fish could nibble at it, the lobsters could claw at it (and) there would be no ill effects,” Deri said.

Lastly and in other news, Deri said that bluShift has advanced onto the final round of Greenlight Maine, an entrepreneurial television show with a $25,000 grand prize.

Comments are not available on this story.