Interlune, a secretive startup led by former Blue Origin leaders, has secured a substantial new funding round of $15.5 million, according to regulatory documents.
The company, focused on harvesting resources from the moon, has maintained a low profile, with minimal public announcements about its technology.
Funding Details and Future Goals:
This funding round marks the first public indication of financial backing for Interlune since its $1.85 million seed round in 2022. The startup aims to close an additional $2 million in funding.
While a representative for Interlune declined to comment on the recent funding, the documents reveal the company’s progress in securing financial support.
Ambitious Lunar Resource Harvesting Vision:
Interlune’s ambitious mission, as briefly described by CTO Gary Lai during a speech at Seattle’s Museum of Flight last October, is to be the first company to harvest natural resources from the moon for use on Earth.
The startup is developing a unique approach to efficiently, cost-effectively, and responsibly extract lunar resources, with the ultimate goal of creating a sustainable in-space economy.
Leadership Team with Blue Origin Background:
Interlune is helmed by Rob Meyerson, an aerospace executive and former Blue Origin president with 15 years of experience.
The CTO, Gary Lai, also brings a strong aerospace background, having spent two decades at Blue Origin, where he served as chief architect for space transportation systems.
Attorney H. Indra Hornsby, previously associated with BlackSky and Spaceflight Industries, is listed as a company executive.
Lunar In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) Technology:
Interlune’s focus on in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) is reflected in a small SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) award from the National Science Foundation.
The company aims to develop core enabling technology for lunar ISRU, specifically the ability to sort lunar regolith (moon dirt) by particle size.
This technology is crucial for various lunar applications, including oxygen extraction systems and lunar 3-dimensional printers.
Joining the Lunar Resource Utilization Movement:
With NASA’s Artemis program emphasizing the importance of long-term human presence on the moon, the field of lunar resource utilization is gaining traction.
Interlune joins a growing number of space startups and entities working towards turning space resources into valuable commodities.
Blue Origin, among others, has expressed interest in ISRU tech, emphasizing the need for extensive collaboration across the ISRU community to support future lunar and Mars missions.