PLD Space exhibits the first privately-developed Spanish rocket and positions the country at the forefront of the industry in Europe
- The first MIURA 1 public exhibition has gathered numerous institutional representatives and 10,000 visitors
- The company, located in Spain, has received more than €36 million of investment allowing the most promising project of the newspace European launchers developments.
- PLD Space, led by the cofounders, Raúl Torres and Raúl Verdú, along with executive president, Ezequiel Sánchez, has positioned itself as a key player in the space transportation sector, using its rockets for the dedicated launch of small satellites
- PLD Space is also developing MIURA 5, the orbital rocket that will carry out the company’s commercial operations in 2024
PLD Space has achieved a new milestone with the official presentation in Madrid of its MIURA 1 rocket, that has been exhibited fully assembled for the first time in the capital’s National Museum of Natural Science. This suborbital vehicle is a key step in launch vehicle development, a pathfinder for MIURA 5 development.
From the beginning, the objective of PLD Space has been to become the European Microlauncher Company, a reference within the sector through the use of reusable rockets dedicated to the launch of small satellites. This vision has been maintained through the different stages of the project and is now being achieved, as Raúl Torres, CEO and Cofounder, has demonstrated during the official inauguration of MIURA 1: “We have always being clear that we wanted to take advantage of the business opportunities in the space sector and contribute to its democratization, paving the way for new players in this increasingly thriving industry that will play a key role in the coming years”. “It has not been an easy road, but the achievements are heroic in technological, human and financial terms”, has continued Raúl Torres. “Until now, Spain was only capable of constructing boats and parts of planes, now we are capable of building rockets”.
Raúl Verdú, COO and Cofounder of PLD Space, has underlined the support shown by numerous investors, in both public and private institutions, that have come together to make a “Made-in-Spain" space project a reality. “The support of institutions such as CDTI, ENISA, and the IVF, has been key; they have co-financed the last 10 years of development along with our private investors. We are proud to have financed the first private space launch service enterprise within our country”, Raúl Verdú has added.
For his part, Ezequiel Sánchez, Executive President of PLD Space, highlighted the "strategic advantage for Spain to become the fourteenth country with access to space, as this select group of nations will play a crucial geostrategic role for Europe”. He has also underlined the effect it will have on Spain from an industrial perspective, because "our business model integrated throughout the value chain will allow us to have an autonomy that will be crucial in order to address the future of science and national industry". "This without a team of passionate people would not have been possible. It is clear that we have grown with the right team. And now, we have the right team", he concluded.
Next steps before MIURA 1 launch
MIURA 1 will return to the PLD Space base at Teruel Airport to carry out combined qualification testing at stage level, including full-mission duration hot test of the complete stage. After these tests, the stage will be shipped to the launch base to perform a combined test with all the ground segment and ground infrastructure, before launch.
MIURA 1 launch is expected for the second half of 2022, which it will be the first launch mission of a European rocket in history, designed to reach a maximum altitude of 150 km and with the capacity to carry a payload of up to 100 kg.
2024 ultimate goal: MIURA 5
PLD Space is also working on its first MIURA 5 reusable orbital rocket, which is expected to be ready to carry out its first mission in July 2024, and which will mark the start of the firm's commercial satellite launches.
First launch vehicle to fly will be MIURA 5 block 1.0, a fully expendable version that will make the first 2 launches. After those flights, the company will introduce a reusable version for the subsequent flights, paving the way for a commercial reusable booster in Europe. This stage will implement all lesson learnt from ESA´s Future Launchers Preparatory Programme (FLPP) contracts, called Liquid Propulsion Stage Recovery (LPSR) 1 and LPSR2.