Spanish firm PLD Space has announced that it has successfully completed a full mission test after carrying out two static fire engine tests earlier this year.
The new milestone is the culmination of 11 years of hard work, and it makes way for Elche-based PLD Space to launch its reusable Miura 1 rocket before the year’s end. In a tweet, PLD Space wrote: “Full Mission Test successfully completed. Now, Miura 1 is ready to fly.”
The company conducted the test at Teruel Airport, and they plan to launch their Miura rocket from the Arenosillo launch facility in the south of Spain. This has been called “Spain’s Cape Canaveral.”
PLD Space’s full mission test took place during nighttime at Teruel Airport in the west of Spain on Wednesday, September 14. The 110-second mission tested all the Miura 1 rocket’s subsystems to make sure it is ready for launch by the end of the year.
The test fired up PLD Space’s liquid-propellant Teprel-B engine, which will lift Miura 1 into space. In May, PLD Space put the Teprel-B engine through its spaces with its second and final static fire test prior to launch.
PLD Space was founded in 2011 by CEO Raúl Torres and COO Raúl Verdú. They wanted to accelerate innovation on the continent. 11 years later, the company is on the verge of its first orbital launch as it’s now been greenlit to launch Miura 1 to orbit by the end of the year.
To date, the company has raised more than €50 million in funding, with a small part of that coming from the European Space Agency.
Miura 1 will be Spain’s first rocket to go to space, but it will also be Europe’s first reusable rocket, helping it meet the increasing demand for small payload launches to low Earth orbit (LEO), spurred by the likes of SpaceX and Rocket Lab.