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PLD Space wins the aerospace public-private partnership contract promoted by Spanish Government to develop a micro launcher

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  • PLD Space, together with Aciturri, AIRBUS, Air Liquide, ALTER, Anteral, Applus, Caye, CECOM, CMASA, Deimos, INSYTE, LOGO 2, Mecanizados Especiales, OCCAM, Repsol, Swagelok, Talleres Ramón Clemente and Tecno Lanema, wins the PERTE to develop a micro launcher.
  • PLD Space obtains the best technical qualification by the Contracting Board, which has positively valued the trajectory and key industrial capacity that guarantee the development of the MIURA 5 as a leading solution for access to space.
  • PLD Space is the only Spanish company with experience developing launchers and the only one with the necessary infrastructure and capacity to develop, manufacture and launch an orbital rocket into space in just two and a half years.
  • Thanks to PERTE (the contract), the company will be able to accelerate the development and manufacturing of MIURA 5 and become the first private company in Europe to commercialise space access services.
  • PLD Space is one of three European companies authorised by the French Space Agency, through a binding agreement, to operate MIURA 5 from the CSG Space Centre in French Guiana.

 

Elche. 03 July 2023. PLD Space, the company that designs, develops, manufactures and operates the first private launcher in Europe, wins the aerospace public-private partnership contract promoted by Spanish Government to develop a micro launcher (PERTE), having obtained the best technical qualification by the Contracting Committee, as well as the independent experts appointed to evaluate the projects submitted.

PLD Space comes to PERTE with most of its technological partners and with strategic supply agreements, which strengthens the project and allows speeding up its development. Strategic partners already approved in MIURA 1 include Aciturri, AIRBUS, Air Liquide, ALTER, Anteral, Applus, Caye, CECOM, CMASA, Deimos, INSYTE, LOGO 2, Mecanizados Especiales, OCCAM, Repsol, Swagelok, Talleres Ramón Clemente and Tecno Lanema. This supply chain will provide technical support, components, engineering and manufacturing support for the development and production of the MIURA 5 orbital launcher, scheduled for launch in 2025.

 

Ezequiel Sánchez, CEO of PLD Space, says: "We are working to facilitate European access to space and very soon we will achieve it. If we want Spain to become the tenth country with direct access to space, we must encourage private-public collaboration, but we cannot replicate in PERTE what has not worked before in ESA programmes. We must work together to be more agile and with a different style of leadership and risk-taking.

The company's track record, coupled with its high industrial capabilities and financial strength, together with MIURA 5 supply chain drive and its commercial potential, consolidate PLD Space as one of the reference players in the small space launcher sector at European level, which has been positively assessed by the PERTE aerospace tendering authority.

 

Raúl Verdú, co-founder and business development director of the company, highlights: "Thanks to this contract, Spain and PLD Space will be able to compete in the global market for launch services for satellites of less than 500kg without any complexes. As we have demonstrated in the past, this public contract will allow us to triple the total budget available with private investment, ensuring that we will be able to deliver our first MIURA 5 unit within the demanding timelines set by this contract, and to provide Spain with independent access to space.

The first phase of the PERTE contract, which will start once the documentation is signed, is worth €1.5 million for each successful bidder. It will focus on the design of the launcher and will end in December 2023. The tendering body will then evaluate the proposals submitted and the most competitive design will move on to a second phase in 2024, which is valued at €40.5 million.

The only Spanish company with the necessary infrastructure to launch a rocket into space PLD Space is the only Spanish company with experience developing launchers and the only one with the infrastructure and capacity to develop, manufacture and launch an orbital rocket into space in just two and a half years.

The company is currently immersed in the launch of MIURA 1, the first private rocket developed in Europe and the only one that is ready to be launched soon on the continent. It has been fully designed by PLD Space as a technology demonstrator with recovery and reusability requirements that only 3 companies have achieved in space history.

This first suborbital flight of MIURA 1 is a turning point for the development of the MIURA 5 orbital launcher, as it will allow to extract a large amount of information to validate much of the design and technology that will serve as the basis for the development of the MIURA 5 orbital launcher.

 

Raul Torres, CEO and co-founder of PLD Space, says: "We are progressing at breakneck speed in the development of MIURA 5 thanks to MIURA 1, as we have an integrated team and a clear engineering strategy. Although we failed to launch on the last attempt, we were able to complete all procedures and reach the self-sequence phase on time, with nominal engine start and thrust. All these learnings are being transferred to the development of MIURA 5, so we are making a qualitative leap in its development.

PLD Space - which has obtained more than 65 million in funding to date - is headquartered in Elche (Alicante), has a team of more than 140 professionals and three centres located in Elche, Teruel and Huelva with more than 100,000 m2 of industrial facilities. It is the only Spanish company with the necessary infrastructure to validate the different MIURA 5 subsystems, including a liquid rocket engine test bench.

Having recently received permission from the French National Study Centre (CNES) to operate MIURA 5 at the Guiana Space Centre (Korou) in 2025, PLD Space becomes one of only three private European companies that will be able to operate from the historic space centre. In addition, the company has already booked launch services for its first five flights and has signed a memorandum of understanding with the European space transportation operator Arianespace, whereby the two companies will explore cooperation to meet the growing commercial demand for access to space.

 

About PLD Space  

PLD Space is a leading reference in the aerospace sector and the first to develop a private rocket in Europe. Headquartered in Elche (Alicante), PLD Space designs, develops, manufactures and operates reusable orbital launchers that send small satellites into space in the form of the suborbital MIURA 1 and the orbital MIURA 5.  

PLD Space was founded in 2011 by Raúl Torres and Raúl Verdú with the aim of increasing European access to space. Currently, the company -which has obtained more than 65 million in funding to date- has a workforce of more than 120 professionals distributed in three centres located in Elche, Teruel and Huelva, with a total of more than 20,000 m2 of industrial facilities.   

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