This Jan. 31, 2021 image provided by bluShift Aerospace shows an unmanned rocket lifting off in a test run in Limestone, Maine. It was the first commercial rocket launch in Maine history. Credit: The Knack Factory/bluShift Aerospace via AP

BRUNSWICK, Maine — bluShift Aerospace, an aerospace company based in Brunswick that recently made world history with the successful launch of its Stardust 1.0 rocket in Limestone, has moved on to the semifinals of Greenlight Maine — a reality show in which entrepreneurs and businesses pitch their ideas to a panel and compete for cash prizes.

bluShift pitched its company’s unique approach to aerospace, opening its presentation with its goal of becoming the “Uber of space” by providing academic and commercial customers with a means to launch small payloads into space.

The episode, which is now available on YouTube, was filmed before the company’s historic launch. CEO Sascha Deri explained that the launch would not only demonstrate the viability of their proprietary bio-derived fuel, but ideally bring more aerospace companies and jobs to the state.

“What do we want others to think about when they think about working in Maine?” Deri said in his pitch. “Yes, today we are known for our lobsters, our blueberries and fantastic brews, but tomorrow we will be known for our nimble, innovative aerospace sector that has a touch of Yankee ingenuity. So together, let’s make the future of space exploration made in Maine.”

bluShift went up against Bangor-based Chuck Carter Media, formerly known as Eagre Games. Carter is known for designing and rendering the environments in the 1993 video game Myst, and has worked on more than two dozen video games throughout his career.

Chuck Carter Media’s pitch was to focus on helping companies develop augmented reality branding, which would allow customers to integrate 3D graphics into a photo and share it via social media.

bluShift Communications Director Seth Lockman said the company was thrilled to return for season six, as they competed once in season four, and that it was an honor to go up against Carter.

“Graphic user interfaces basically became the commercial standard because of [Myst],” Lockman said. “That may be a bit of an oversimplification, but I’m not even surprised that there was another great talent in Maine. My whole arc has been getting myself a front row seat to seeing what our state can produce and harbor.”

And while Lockman said the $25,000 cash prize would certainly help in the company’s future endeavors, he’s also excited about the exposure associated with being on the program.

“You never know who’s watching,” he said, adding that exposure is incredibly important in helping the company grow.

As a recent example, he said the company collaborated with Portland-based electronic musician VanderViper, who sampled a bluShift engine test in one of his songs.

Lockman said the company is proud to have made it to the semifinals, which are set to take place this spring, and that they’re thankful to everyone who watched the program.

As of March 10, Lockman said the crew is hard at work on a new, more powerful rocket, but the project is still in the planning phases and he could not release any specific details.

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