Designing and manufacturing a bio-derived fuel based rocket

bluShift is developing a unique line of rockets powered by bio-derived fuels to launch tiny satellites into space.

What Makes bluShift Different

We’re looking at rockets in a way like no one else has before, by integrating multiple technologies for the first time in one motor. Not only does our approach increase performance, using a sustainably farmed, bio-derived fuel in our rockets also mitigates the detrimental impact on the environment that traditional liquid and hybrid rocket motors have. Our team is small and our ambitions are big, helping to keep the cost of development down. We’ve optimized the fuel, developed a test stand and injection system for two different scales of prototype, and are moving towards a sounding rocket launch by the end of next year.

development of new rocket


environmental FRIENDLY



bluShift has made enormous progress developing its small satellite launch vehicle, powered by a proprietary, sustainable, bio-derived fuel. Since 2014, the team has invested over $500k of its own resources and been awarded grants from NASA and the Maine Technology Institute for the development of this innovative rocket line. Rocket-science isn't cheap.

Help push bluShift's R&D, manufacturer and, ultimately, it's launch services forward faster by becoming an on-going patron or purchasing some of our bluShift gear with our logo proudly displayed.


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Our Rockets

Red Dwarf
  • Mission: Cubesat Launch Vehicle
  • Capability:Polar Low-Earth Orbit
  • # of Stages:3
  • Max Payload:25kg
  • Diameter:0.6m
  • Length:7.5m
  • Mission: Qualifying Cubesat Technologies
  • Capability:Suborbital Launch Vehicle
  • # of Stages:1
  • Max Payload:10kg
  • Diameter:0.35m
  • Length:5.5m

Our Team

Matt Parker

Matt Parker

Years of Experience: 10
Position: Technical Advisor
  • Education: BS Aero/Mech at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (2009)
  • Experience: Matt is an experienced aerospace professional with a focus in test and launch operations for propulsion systems. He led test engineering teams at SpaceX where he helped develop, qualify, and produce Merlin engines for the Falcon 9 launch vehicle. He continued in the commercial space sector at Rocket Lab leading the propulsion test team, overseeing development operations of the Rutherford engine for the Electron small-sat launcher. He recently transitioned to manage the engineering team at Fiber Materials Inc, to develop advanced composite materials for missile defense and space systems.
Seth Lockman

Seth Lockman

Years of Experience: 6
Position: Communications Director
  • Education: Bachelor of Arts SCL in Psychology, UMaine (2015); HS Diploma, Maine School of Science and Mathematics (2011)
  • Experience: Seth created and co-hosted Radio Astronomy (now Scientifically Speaking), the first nonprofit radio show to join the NASA Museum Alliance. He now co-hosts the Astronomy Brothers podcast, and is a JPL Solar System Ambassador. In addition to his work at bluShift, Seth is a vocal advocate of the ongoing effort, led by the Maine Space Grant Consortium, to build SpacePort Maine.
David Hayrikyan

David Hayrikyan

Years of Experience: 12
Position: Mechanical Engineer
  • Education:Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Boston University (2009);
  • Experience: Mr. Harikyan is founder of MACABitech where his primary contract includes upgrading manufacturing processes to the latest methods for jet engine casings. Responsible for CAD/CAM development of hybrid rocket motor components for performance testing, developing production processes, experienced in 5-axis CNC milling.
Sascha Deri

Sascha Deri

Years of Experience: 22
Position: CEO
  • Education:Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, University of Southern Maine; Bachelor of Arts (1996) in Physics, Earlham College (1993)
  • Experience:Mr. Deri is a recognized expert and entrepreneur in the alternative and renewable energy sector.

    Prior to founding bluShift, Mr. Deri founded and is CEO of altE, a successful national renewable energy product distribution and light manufacturing company. Responsible for setting the company’s market and product development strategy, identifying opportunities, raising funds for development, connecting with advisors and consultants, and operations management. His 19 years of experience in starting, growing, leading, planning and operating a lean and profitable, $17M/year organization within a tight margin sector of the industry enables him to do the same with downward sizing cost challenges of running a team to develop a small launch vehicle.

Luke Saindon

Luke Saindon

Years of Experience: 8,
Position: Senior Mechanical Engineer
  • Education:BSME University of Maine
  • Experience:Luke is a mechanical engineer,with experience in the defense and aerospace sectors,
    designing and building of a sounding rocket, development of hybrid oxidizer control systems and an engineering internship at Applied Thermal Sciences, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Luke assists with performance testing, oxidizer system design and evaluation, MATLAB code development for delta V calculations and staging simulations.

Brook Halvorson

Brook Halvorson

Years of Experience: 7
Position: Lead Test Engineer
  • Education:Bachelor of Arts, Art and the Environment (1995), Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Eng., Univ. of Maryland College Park (2013);
  • Experience:Experience in automotive engineering and design, carbon composite testing, graphene-based coatings, and now 1.5 years of R&D with bluShift. Responsible for working on performance testing logistics, manufacturing and hybrid rocket motor assembly and testing.
Shawn Augustine

Shawn Augustine

Years of Experience: 5
Position: Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineer
  • Education:MSME Georgia Tech 2015
  • Experience: Mr. Augustine is an expert in fluids dynamics and material mechanics and design. Responsible for designing and assisting in testing the oxidizer system.

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