Startup Interlune Raises $15.6M for Lunar Resource Extraction

Startup Interlune Raises $15.6M for Lunar Resource Extraction

A covert startup with a who’s who of seasoned space industry leaders is starting to make waves.

According to a recent SEC filing originally seen by TechCrunch, Interlune, a stealthy in-space resource mining business, has raised $15.6M and is aiming for an additional $2.1M.

Blue Origin’s former chief architect Gary Lai and former Rocket Lab EVP Indra Hornsby are cofounders of the Seattle-based company, which is run by former longtime president Rob Meyerson.

Shhhh: Since its founding in 2020, the business has functioned covertly. The firm website characterizes the startup as “harvesting natural resources from space to benefit Earth and establish an in-space economy,” despite the lack of information about the project.

Panning for regolith: Lunar regolith sorting is one of the company’s efforts. In order to develop and demonstrate technology that can sort lunar regolith by size for oxygen extraction systems and 3D printing on the moon, Interlune earned an SBIR Phase I award last year.

  • Comparing the suggested technology to conventional sieves, it would be five times less bulky and more dependable.
  • The technician intends to direct the particles through a screen using centrifugal force.

The business also intends to exploit lunar minerals for domestic consumption.

In-situ: NASA wants to build a permanent lunar settlement, and living off the land is essential to that goal. NASA intends to establish a base near the lunar south pole, an area that might include water ice deposits that might be mined for a variety of life-supporting uses. Other businesses are creating technology to exploit lunar regolith for in-situ manufacturing; one such business is Austin-based ICON. In 2022, ICON secured a $57.2 million NASA contract to use lunar regolith for the 3D printing of expansive lunar dwellings.