The Earthrise Space Foundation, Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit founded in 2008 by President & COO Ruben Nunez, with the purpose of providing students with experience in STEM related activities building spacecraft and spacecraft systems.

ESF's efforts involve professionals from the aerospace industry working with aspiring engineers through challenging ventures, preparing them for future employment in a new space career.


Our vision

It is our belief that the skills and knowledge gained from this unique experience will provide students with a significant advantage as they enter the workforce and seek high-tech jobs in aerospace or related industries. ESF allows students to take on the responsibility of designing and building complex spacecraft systems. The company forces them to work together with other students, company management and senior engineering advisers and experts in a fast paced, multidisciplinary environment. Students  must satisfy challenging engineering constraints and manage customer requirements. They are encouraged to innovate and explore, and to learn from and overcome mistakes that are made along the way. These efforts provide the students with critical real-world experience unavailable to them from the classroom or through internships with large corporations.

ESF is excited to be a part of this game changing time in space exploration, where government ventures are being supplemented and in some cases, completely replaced by private, entrepreneurial "New Space" companies. This brainstorming era is seeing the development of new innovations, breakthroughs and capabilities which are enabling and driving forward commercial exploration and the development of space. Through participation in many projects, ESF intends to expose students to this new industry, while providing them with the skills, knowledge and experience they need to actively make a difference in it. Humanity is on a path to the stars, and ESF is doing its part to help advance us further. 

We were pleased with the performance and are grateful to the team for allowing us to integrate it onto their systems.
— Jack Fox, NASA Swamp Works Facility Manager

on mobility & visual testing at NASA's Kennedy Space Center earlier this year.

What We've Achieved

  • Engaged over 100 interns with the assistance of Workforce Central Florida and UCF.
  • Provided support to senior level student's projects, at UCF, to design spacecraft hardware.
  • Reached out to over 500 middle and high school students through facility tours, presentations and outreach programs.
  • Involved in workshops and networking events to help advance the technology community and provide experience to both personnel and students via:
    • Business plan & financial preparation to raise funds via different avenues.
    • Participating in panels for different conferences to promote international collaboration in the United Kingdom, Chile, Hungary and the United Arab Emirates.
  • Awarded the Congressional Rising Star in Technology in 2013 by Congressman Bill Posey in recognition of the success and benefit to the regional technology community. 
  • In October of 2010. President Ruben Nunez led Earthrise Space Foundation, Inc. to obtain an Innovative Lunar Demonstrations Data Contract (ILDD) with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The ILDD acquisitions involves the delivery of data associated with the design and demonstration of an end-to-end lunar landing mission including: hardware design, development and testing; ground operations and integration; launch, trajectory correction maneuvers, and lunar braking bum; lunar landing; and other enhances capabilities. 


ESF leverages its infrastructure and personnel to support research, development and STEM related activities. Current project objectives include the development of lunar robotic technologies, rapid prototype design, in-house manufacturing, verification and validation processes through test series, and In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) technology development.  Your support will sustain the interest of STEM Scholars, keeping them on the leading edge industry expectancies. 

ESF is proud of its numerous accomplishments. Some of these are listed below:

  • Contracts & Grants:
  1. ESF has been awarded a NASA Innovative Lunar Demonstrations Data contract worth up to $10M, as well as $75,000 and $25,000 grants from the Florida Space Institute and the Florida Space Grant Consortium to develop high altitude dust collection systems.
  2. The company is pursuing multiple additional contract and grant opportunities.
  • Engaging customers to send payloads to the lunar surface.

    • Team Angelicvm from Chile has entered into a $1.6M contract with ESF to send a 1kg version of their rover to the moon.

  • Obtained continuous business support from Space Florida.

  • Successfully tested a lunar rover prototype in the Canadian Arctic via remote control from Orlando, FL.

  • Funded ten senior level students’ projects, at the University of Central Florida, to design lunar rover hardware.

  • Engaged over 60 interns with the assistance of Workforce Central Florida and UCF

  • Conducted STEM focused "Lunar Lander Eggs Prize" contest in 2009 for high school students

  • Sent personnel to attend training with venture capitalists in Silicon Valley

  • Participated in a diplomatic trip to Parliament in the United Kingdom at the request of Space Florida.

  • Attended Google Lunar XPRIZE meetings at NASA AMES, The SETI Institute, Google Headquarters, Santiago, Chile, and in Washington DC.

  • Setup a facility in Central Florida’s Research Park and have staffed it with trained personnel, critical equipment, and essential infrastructure.

We intend to engage additional STEM Scholars within the project timeline and invite K-12 STEM teachers and students to be a part of our outreach program to learn more about space exploration and new space technologies, which will serve and inspire a range of 500 – 750 students.