Home Venture Capital Former Blue Origin president’s startup raises funding to go after moon resources

Former Blue Origin president’s startup raises funding to go after moon resources

Space executive Rob Meyerson

Space executive Rob Meyerson

Space industry executive Rob Meyerson speaks at a 2016 space conference. (ISPCS via YouTube)

A stealthy space venture co-founded by the former president of Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture says it’s raising funds to move ahead with its plan to harvest resources on the moon and bring them back for use on Earth.

Former Blue Origin executive Rob Meyerson is listed among the executive officers for Interlune in a financial form filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 1. The form reports that the startup is offering $17.7 million in equity, and that $15.6 million of that total was sold as of the filing date.

The SEC filing says 18 investors have taken part in the offering but does not identify those investors. We’ve reached out to Meyerson for more information and will update this report with anything we can pass along.

Interlune was founded in 2020, but details about the venture were shrouded in secrecy until last October — when one of the venture’s other co-founders, Blue Origin engineer Gary Lai, discussed the company’s vision during an awards banquet at Seattle’s Museum of Flight.

“We aim to be the first company that harvests natural resources from the moon to use here on Earth,” Lai told the audience. “We’re building a completely novel approach to extract those resources, efficiently, cost-effectively and also responsibly. The goal is really to create a sustainable in-space economy.”

This isn’t the first time Interlune has turned to the investment market. A form that was filed with the SEC in 2022 focused on an investment offering that involved an agreement for future equity.

Interlune has also been awarded a $246,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to work on a system to sort out moon dirt by particle size.

This month’s SEC filing lists a Seattle address for the venture, but previous reports have mentioned connections to Tacoma, Wash.; and to Estes Park, Colo.

Meyerson has a long history in the aerospace industry: He’s best-known for his role as Blue Origin’s president from 2003 to 2018, but before joining Bezos’ space company, he served as senior program manager for Kistler Aerospace’s K-1 rocket program and as an aerospace engineer at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

Since leaving Blue Origin, Meyerson has been a consultant to several aerospace ventures. In 2021 he became a member of the board of directors for Texas-based Axiom Space, which is wrapping up its third crewed mission to the International Space Station this week.

Other executive officers listed on Interlune’s SEC filing include Harrison Schmitt, who walked on the moon during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972; Indra Hornsby, who previously served as an executive at Rocket Lab USA; and Katelin Holloway, who is a founding partner at Seven Seven Six, an early-stage venture capital firm backed by Alexis Ohanian.

NASA’s Artemis program to send astronauts to the moon has heightened interest in concepts for extracting raw materials on the moon.

The top item on the list is water ice — which could theoretically be converted into drinkable water as well as hydrogen fuel and breathable oxygen. But there are other potential resources. For example, Blue Origin is looking into a process for manufacturing solar cells and transmission wire from lunar materials — and some experts say the moon could be mined for resources suitable for export to Earth, ranging from precious metals to helium-3 for future fusion power plants.

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