bluShift Aerospace, a space startup focused on small rockets, announced that it had signed its first major deal, reaching an important milestone while contributing to more than 60 academic experiments per launch.
Virginia-based educational company MaxIQ signed with bluShift Aerospace to deliver its experiments into space using the services of the “Uber of Space”. The terms of the agreement allow for up to 60 payloads per launch, with a minimum of two launches taking place per year.
All payloads will consist of experiments in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields, which will serve students from academic institutions as prestigious as Princeton and Stanford University.
With the cost of each student payload representing between $2000 and $2500, the deal could generate up to $150k per launch.
Judi Sandrock, MaxIQ President, made this statement concerning the deal,
“Until bluShift came along, MaxIQ had not been able to secure a reliable launch partner for student-led science payloads. It is very important to be able to secure affordable space launches for student payloads so that students may further their academic research and help all of humanity understand the dramatic changes taking place here on Earth.”
The nanosatellite launch market is expected to be valued at $69 billion by 2030, according to the startup.
With companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin not being a viable option for companies aiming to launch nanosatellites due to a lack of flexibility, bluShift is aiming to offer an affordable solution powered by bio-derived fuel.
bluShift opened a $1 million crowdfunding campaign back on April 11 following the launch of its Stardust 1.0 satellite.
The campaign, which is running on WeFunder, has raised over $569k, which will help the company continue its work on its Starless Rogue rocket, which is expected to launch in 2022.
The space startup is also participating in the entrepreneurial show “Greenlight Maine” and has established a partnership with companies like altE Store, a reflection of its focus on creating its bio-derived, nontoxic, and cost-competitive fuel.