A stealth startup led by ex-Blue Origin leaders, focused on harvesting resources from the moon, has quietly closed a sizable new tranche of funding, according to regulatory documents.

Interlune, a startup that’s been around for at least three years but has made almost zero public announcements about its tech, has raised $15.5 million in new funding and aims to close another $2 million. A representative for Interlune declined to comment on this whole tale.   

This may be the very first indication that is public the company has closed any funding since a $1.85 million seed round in 2022.

Much of what’s known about the startup was reported by GeekWire last October, when Interlune CTO Gary Lai briefly described the startup during a speech 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,” he reportedly said. “We’re building a approach that is completely novel draw out those sources, effortlessly, cost-effectively also responsibly. The target is truly to produce a sustainable economy that is in-space”

Lai is an aerospace engineer whose resume includes a 20-year stint at Blue Origin, where he eventually became chief architect for space transportation systems, including launchers and lunar landers. Interlune is being led by Rob Meyerson, an aerospace executive who was president at Blue Origin for 15 years. Meyerson is also a angel that is prolific, with opportunities in well-known hardware startups including Axiom area, Starfish area, Hermeus and Hadrian Automation.

The filing because of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission also details lawyer H. Indra Hornsby as a business professional. Hornsby formerly presented the positioning of basic advice at BlackSky and Spaceflight Industries, also worked as an executive VP at Rocket Lab.

What small else is famous of Interlune’s technology originates from an abstract of a SBIR that is small startup was awarded last year from the National Science Foundation. The company said it will aim to “develop a core enabling technology for lunar in situ resource utilization: the ability to sort ‘moon dirt’ (lunar regolith) by particle size.”the abstract says.

“By under that award Enabling lunar that is raw to be sorted into multiple streams by particle size, the technology will provide appropriate feedstocks for lunar oxygen extraction systems, lunar 3-dimensional printers, and other applications,”

A growing number of space startups are focusing on what’s known as in-situ resource utilization (ISRU), or collecting and transforming space resources into valuable commodities. Much of this is driven by NASA’s stated priority to build a human that is long-term on the moon via its Artemis system: The company acknowledges that longer-term remains in area will demand the capacity to create materials locally — whether that is to develop roadways, create breathable environment and sometimes even make rocket propellants.

But it really isn’t just startups which are attempting to commercialize ISRU technology; a year ago, Blue Origin revealed it had made solar panels and transmission cables away from a material that is chemically identical to lunar regolith.February 2023 announcement on the techIn its

, Blue Origin stated, “Learning to reside the land – off in the Moon as well as on Mars – will demand considerable collaboration over the ISRU neighborhood.” The term is echoed in Interlune’s abstract: “The utilization of the Moon’s sources is a disruptive capacity that may allow missions truth be told there to ‘live from the land,’ making the introduction of this technology essential for federal government companies and business alike.”(*)