BusinessVC/PE

Lunar Resource Extraction Startup Interlune Raises $15.6M

Image: NASA

A stealth startup led by a who’s who of veteran space executives is beginning to stir. 

Interlune, an in-space resource mining startup operating in stealth, has secured $15.6M of funding and is targeting an additional $2.1M, as revealed in a recent SEC filing first reported by TechCrunch

The Seattle-based business is led by Blue Origin’s former long-time president Rob Meyerson, and counts Blue Origin’s ex-chief architect Gary Lai and former Rocket Lab EVP Indra Hornsby as cofounders. 

Shhhh: The company was founded in 2020 and has operated in hush-hush ever since. While details on the venture are scant, the company’s website describes the startup as “harvesting natural resources from space to benefit Earth and establish an in-space economy.”  

Panning for regolith: One of the company’s projects is lunar regolith sorting. Interlune won an SBIR Phase I award last year to develop and demo tech that can sort lunar regolith by size for oxygen extraction systems and 3D printing on the Moon.

  • The proposed system would be more reliable and have 5x lower mass than traditional sieves. 
  • The tech plans to use centrifugal motion to guide the particles through a screen.

The company also hopes to mine lunar resources for use on Earth.

In-situ: Living off the land is key to NASA’s goal of establishing a permanent lunar settlement. NASA has targeted setting up camp at the lunar south pole, a region that may contain water ice deposits that could be extracted for various life support applications. Other companies, like Austin-based ICON, are developing technologies to use lunar regolith for in-situ manufacturing. ICON won a $57.2M NASA contract in 2022 to 3D print large-scale habitats on the Moon using lunar regolith. 

Related Stories
BusinessCivil

The FAA OKs Varda’s Landing Plans

Varda’s in-space manufacturing capsule is cleared for reentry after months of regulatory back and forth. 

BusinessLEO

China Could Fill Potential Post-ISS Gap in LEO, Industry Says

The US is at risk of losing leadership in LEO to China if commercial space stations do not come to fruition before the ISS plunges into the sea, two industry officials told lawmakers on Wednesday.

Business

BlueHalo Acquires Eqlipse for Advanced Defense Applications

BlueHalo, a young defense prime making headway in the space domain, announced yesterday that it has acquired Eqlipse, a cyber, intelligence, and advanced R&D firm working on the edge of defense applications. 

BusinessVC/PE

LeoLabs Raises $29M for a Global Tracking Network

LeoLabs clinched $29M in funding to fulfill its dreams of truly global coverage and deep, AI-powered analytics to support its LEO-monitoring space radar network.