By Lydia Libby, Web Editor
Brunswick company, bluShift Aerospace was recently awarded a Small Business Innovation Research grant from NASA. The company was founded by USM Alumnus Sascha Deri. Deri graduated in 1996 with a Bachelors in Electrical and Electronics Engineering.
“This is an incredible opportunity to develop hi-tech here in my home state, diversify Maine’s economy, and keep more of our bright young tech people here in Maine in the future,” said Deri in a press release.
Communications Director, Seth Lockman, says that the Phase 1 grant will help bluShift develop its fully modular hybrid rocket engines, referred to as MAREVLs (Modular Adaptable Rocket Engine for Vehicle Launch).
Today’s orbital rockets are made up of two or more stages. Each stage uses different engine types for specific parts of the ascent.
Using MAREVL, each stage will have different numbers of the same engine type.
Lockman says MAREVL uses a hybrid rocket, in which liquid oxidizer combines with solid fuel, to reduce the complexity, weight, and cost of the engine.
By using a simple class of engine, bluShift lower all costs associated with production and understanding of the rocket.
The MAREVL will allow for more frequent and affordable launches.
The new launch system is said to reduce environmental impact and costs.
bluShift plans to create over 40 aerospace jobs in Maine over the next 5 years.