The Miura 1 rocket. PLD Space

Launch of Spain's Miura 1 rocket aborted due to gusts of wind

The privately-developed, reusable Miura 1 rocket was due to blast-off from Huelva this Wednesday morning

Jon Garay

Tuesday, 30 May 2023


The launch of Spain’s first reusable space rocket, the privately-developed Miura 1, has been suspended due to gusts of wind at the launch site in Andalucía this morning.

The rocket had been given a launch window between 5.30am and 10.30am on Wednesday, 31 May after getting the green light from PLD Space, the company that built it. However, a problem with the oxygen charging caused the countdown to be stopped for a few minutes and, after that was overcome, an unfavourable weather forecast forced the blast-off to be suspended for an unknown period.

Named after the famous Spanish breed of bulls, the Elche-based company, which was founded in 2011 by Raúl Torres and Raúl Verdú when they were both 23 years old, built the rocket as tall as a three-storey building. It is designed to lift loads of 250kg more than 150 km up in the air.

On its first flight it will carry 100kg of material from the German Centre for Applied Space Technology and Microgravity some 153km into the sky. If successful, it will place Spain among the ten countries in the world with the capacity to send small satellites into space.

The most critical moments of the mission will be the first 30 seconds, which was "when the rocket has to do an 80-degree orientation to begin parabolic flight".

On its return, the rocket could reach a speed of 2,700 kilometres per hour and then release a parachute upon slowing down to cushion its impact on the ocean. It will also be the first reusable rocket in Europe to take flight.

"So far, of the 60 rockets that have been developed in the world, only two companies have made them reusable: Space X, owned by Elon Musk, and Blue Origin, owned by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon," Ezequiel Sánchez, CEO of PLD Space, said.

"Our rocket was conceived this way from the beginning. We will be able to recover 60% of the components of Miura 1."


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