BluShift Aerospace, a Brunswick-based startup developing biofueled rockets, announced that with over 800 investors and almost $1 million raised, the company will move ahead with plans to close its equity crowdfunding campaign that began on March 25.

The crowdfunding campaign will close Sept. 6.

The announcement comes as bluShift develops its full-sized commercial suborbital rocket, Starless Rogue, which is expected to launch in 2022 using the company’s bio-derived fuel. The company says it is planning a launch site off the coast of Downeast Maine.

“It’s been a tremendous couple of months for bluShift as the engineering staff have been fitting components for our next rocket engine and as our crowdfunding campaign nears its goal,” said Sascha Deri, CEO and founder of bluShift in a press release. “The first engine test, expected next month, represents a huge milestone for bluShift, and another first in the world for aerospace.”

According to the company, the full-scale engine will generate between 16,000-20,000 pounds of thrust using bio-derived fuel. When completed, it will be capable of propelling 30-kilogram payloads to space on a flight path allowing for up to eight minutes in microgravity.

Since launching its crowdfunding campaign, bluShift partnered with MaxIQ Space, a Virginia-based STEM company that facilitates the delivery of programs into space for academic customers, and Theorem LLC, a Los Angeles-based global enterprise engineering firm.

The company states it has expanded its network of professional advisors and investors, adding an unnamed former astronaut and startup veteran and crowdfunding influencer Travis Brodeen to its group of advisors.

“Crowdfunding is all about market validation,” Brodeen said. “The bluShift investors have been ‘onboard’ since the early stages, due to the huge impact of the company’s live broadcasts. The live experience allowed aerospace enthusiasts an opportunity to follow along the journey every step of the way and it has resulted in a huge amount of financial support for their vision “

“I could not be more grateful to each and every investor,” Deri said. “Your faith in bluShift has made it possible for us to quickly advance to our next phase of growth. It’s been an incredible journey and I hope even more investors jump aboard as we prepare to close this round of funding.”

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