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This is the “MIURA”: the first Spanish rocket that will serve to load satellites and experiment in space

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Spain is going to join the small group of countries with the capacity to send rockets into space; it will be with the “MIURA”, reusable and unmanned ships that will be able to transport small satellites developed by the Spanish company PLD Space and that they have their first flight scheduled for the second half of 2022.

The first prototype of the MIURA 1 will be launched next year from the Experimentation Center of The Arenosillo (Huelva) of the National Institute of Aerospace Technology of the Ministry of Defense and the first real space transport mission is planned -with an evolved MIURA 5– For the year 2024 from the spaceport that the European Space Agency (ESA) has in Kourou (French Guiana).

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The rocket, already fully assembled, was exhibited for the first time today next to the National Museum of Natural Sciences of Madrid, in an event that brought together the heads of the company, the former minister and astronaut Pedro Duque, already responsible for the Valencian Community, Aragon and Andalusia, in which the company has part of its facilities and test benches.

The MIURA 1 measures 12.5 meters high, has a mass at takeoff of 2.550 kilos and ability to transport a 100 kilo payload and it has been designed to carry that cargo into space and safely return it to Earth. Those in charge of the company have stressed today that it is a pioneering project in Europe that will include Spain in the small group of countries with the capacity to launch small satellites into space but that can be transcendental for some strategic sectors, such as telecommunications or defense, and for research.

The project of the Spanish company PLD Space already has the endorsement of numerous national and international institutions in the aerospace sector and with the support of various public administrations, and has achieved some 36 million euros of investment for the next stages in the development of your ships and space projects.

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According to the data provided today during the first public exhibition of a “MIURA”, the company has already started six contracts with some of the main space agencies in the world and, thanks to these ships, has consolidated its position as one of the main European benchmarks in the development of reusable rockets capable of putting small satellites into orbit.

The company that has built this rocket is headquartered in Elche, but it has technical facilities and test benches also in the Teruel airport -where it will carry out the first tests before its launch-, at the El Arenosillo de Huelva Experimentation Center, and at the Kourou space base (French Guiana).

The first rocket (MIURA 1) is scheduled to carry out a “suborbital” flight – at an altitude of 150 kilometers but without completely bypassing the Earth – and will carry several instruments that will allow various investigations to be carried out in microgravity conditions; the following ones (the MIURA 5) are designed to make “orbital” flights – go higher and go around the Earth completely – and transport small satellites there. Raúl Torres, co-founder of the company together with Raúl Verdú, has described today as “heroic” the technological, human and financial achievements that have been achieved.

“Until now, Spain was only capable of manufacturing boats and aircraft parts, now we are capable of manufacturing space rockets”, He stated during the rocket presentation press conference.

Raúl Verdú has valued and appreciated the support of numerous public institutions (the Center for Technological and Industrial Development, the National Innovation Company or the Valencian Institute of Finance) and of private investors, who have allowed to launch a project “made in Spain” and fund this completely private space initiative.

The CEO of the company, Ezequiel Sanchez, has underlined the “Strategic relevance” that it has for Spain to become the fourteenth country with access to space, and stressed that this “select” group of nations will play a crucial geostrategic role for Europe.

Why the name of MIURA? those in charge of the company have stressed that it responds perfectly to the “brand Spain” who have wanted to use, promote and export, and have also defended that, beyond the meaning of the company acronym (PLD) in English, for them it is already synonymous with “Passion, Leadership and Determination”.

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