PLD Space Secures Spanish Government Contract to Develop Micro Launcher

PLD Space Secures Spanish Government Contract to Develop Micro Launcher

PLD Space, a European company known for its pioneering work in designing, developing, manufacturing, and operating the first privately-owned launcher, has emerged as the victor in the aerospace public-private partnership contract initiated by the Spanish Government. The contract aims to facilitate the development of a micro launcher (PERTE). PLD Space's exceptional technical qualification, as evaluated by both the Contracting Committee and independent experts assigned to assess the submitted projects, played a significant role in their success.

PLD Space comes to PERTE with most of its technological partners and with strategic supply agreements, which strengthens the project and allows for 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 programs. 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 the 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 has three centers 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 center. 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.

Click here to learn more about Launch Vehicle Platforms by PLD Space.

Publisher: SatNow

GNSS Constellations - A list of all GNSS satellites by constellations


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