PLD Space Makes History Completing the Launch of First Private European Rocket

PLD Space Makes History Completing the Launch of First Private European Rocket

The Spanish company PLD Space has made history after successfully completing the launch of the first private European rocket, MIURA 1. The maiden flight of its suborbital launcher showcases the advanced level of technology and know-how that has been developed by the company since 2011. This milestone achievement furthermore reinforces PLD Space's leading position in the global space race, while building national and European strategic capabilities.

The first launch of MIURA 1 took place at 02:19 CET (00:19 UTC) on 7th October at the facilities of the El Arenosillo Experimentation Centre (CEDEA), belonging to the Spanish National Institute for Aerospace Technology (INTA). PLD Space has fulfilled the primary mission objectives related to engine thrust, trajectory tracking, and launcher behavior.

The flight lasted 306 seconds in which MIURA 1 reached apogee at an altitude of 46 kilometres. The mission concluded with the rocket landing in the Atlantic Ocean and the company will proceed with the work of recovering the rocket during the next few hours.

The launch also tested a technological device from the German Centre for Applied Space Technology and Microgravity (ZARM) under microgravity conditions. The data gathered during the flight will inform future experiments.

Following an in-depth analysis of the mission, PLD Space will publicly release the data collected during the inaugural MIURA 1 flight test.

After this historic milestone for Spain and Europe, PLD Space's Launch Director and co-founder, Raúl Torres, emphasizes, "This launch culminates over 12 years of relentless effort, yet it marks just the start of our journey." He adds, "This test flight has yielded valuable data, enabling us to validate crucial design elements and technologies that will underpin the development of our MIURA 5 orbital launcher."

Mission accomplished: PLD Space leads in sub-500kg launchers.

Miura 1 is the first rocket created by a private company in Europe. PLD Space has achieved something that only three companies in Europe have achieved which is to develop the technology of a rocket that is recoverable and reusable.

The launch of the MIURA 1 suborbital rocket comes 12 years after the creation of PLD Space by Raúl Torres and Raúl Verdú. With this maiden flight, the Spanish company marks a turning point in the European space race, where small satellites are revolutionizing access to information to accelerate innovation in multiple sectors on Earth. With this launch, Spain became the tenth country in the world to have direct space capability. With this launch, Spain has become the tenth country in the world with the capacity to reach space.

"This launch establishes PLD Space as the frontrunner in the European space race. We ventured into space fuelled more by determination than resources, yet we triumphed," states the company's CEO, Ezequiel Sánchez. "The team's elation is visible. Indeed, the mission's success is a collective accomplishment, encompassing our investors, partners, and suppliers."

A key mission for the development of MIURA 5

PLD Space's Business Development Manager and co-founder, Raúl Verdú, concludes, " Looking to the immediate future, the success of a test flight like this is gauged by the insights we gain, insights that enhance our future reliability and success rate." He adds, "We developed MIURA 1 as a stepping stone to accelerate the technological advancement of MIURA 5. With this mission's success, our team is poised to rapidly progress towards the inaugural flight of MIURA 5 – our ultimate goal."

The inaugural suborbital flight of MIURA 1 marks a pivotal moment for the MIURA 5 orbital launcher's development. The data gathered will enable validation of nearly 70% of the design and technology set to be incorporated into MIURA 5. At present, over 90% of the PLD Space team is dedicated to developing MIURA 5. Its maiden launch is scheduled for 2025 at the European spaceport CSG in Kourou, French Guiana, with commercial operations set to begin in 2026.

Click here to learn more about PLD Launch and test Facilities.

Publisher: SatNow

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Satellite NameOrbit Date
BeiDou-3 G4Geostationary Orbit (GEO)17 May, 2023
BeiDou-3 G2Geostationary Orbit (GEO)09 Mar, 2020
Compass-IGSO7Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)09 Feb, 2020
BeiDou-3 M19Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M20Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M21Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M22Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 I3Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M23Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019
BeiDou-3 M24Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019


Satellite NameOrbit Date
GSAT0223MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0224MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0219MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0220MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0221MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0222MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0215MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0216MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0217MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0218MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Kosmos 2569--07 Aug, 2023
Kosmos 2564--28 Nov, 2022
Kosmos 2559--10 Oct, 2022
Kosmos 2557--07 Jul, 2022
Kosmos 2547--25 Oct, 2020
Kosmos 2545--16 Mar, 2020
Kosmos 2544--11 Dec, 2019
Kosmos 2534--27 May, 2019
Kosmos 2529--03 Nov, 2018
Kosmos 2527--16 Jun, 2018


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Navstar 82Medium Earth Orbit19 Jan, 2023
Navstar 81Medium Earth Orbit17 Jun, 2021
Navstar 78Medium Earth Orbit22 Aug, 2019
Navstar 77Medium Earth Orbit23 Dec, 2018
Navstar 76Medium Earth Orbit05 Feb, 2016
Navstar 75Medium Earth Orbit31 Oct, 2015
Navstar 74Medium Earth Orbit15 Jul, 2015
Navstar 73Medium Earth Orbit25 Mar, 2015
Navstar 72Medium Earth Orbit29 Oct, 2014
Navstar 71Medium Earth Orbit02 Aug, 2014


Satellite NameOrbit Date
NVS-01Geostationary Orbit (GEO)29 May, 2023
IRNSS-1IInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)12 Apr, 2018
IRNSS-1HSub Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (Sub-GTO)31 Aug, 2017
IRNSS-1GGeostationary Orbit (GEO)28 Apr, 2016
IRNSS-1FGeostationary Orbit (GEO)10 Mar, 2016
IRNSS-1EGeosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)20 Jan, 2016
IRNSS-1DInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)28 Mar, 2015
IRNSS-1CGeostationary Orbit (GEO)16 Oct, 2014
IRNSS-1BInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Apr, 2014
IRNSS-1AInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)01 Jul, 2013