Spain’s ‘Miura 1’ rocket will make European space history when it launches from Huelva

Image of the PLD Space rocket 'Miura 1'.

Image of the PLD Space rocket 'Miura 1'. Credit: Twitter@PLD_Space

If everything goes according to plan, Spain will enter the history books of space navigation this Wednesday, May 31.

Developed by the Alicante-based company PLD Space, it will make its maiden flight in the early hours of this morning if the weather conditions are right.

Its launch will mark a milestone not only for Spain but also for Europe as it will be the first recoverable suborbital private European vehicle ever sent into space.

In an official presentation document, as well as a YouTube video, PLD Space explained all about their project.

The takeoff announcement was made this morning, less than 24 hours in advance of a launch that is scheduled at 5:30 am. Weather conditions need to be perfect so that the wind does not affect the trajectory of the Miura 1.

A previous launch was attempted on May 21, but it was aborted precisely because of the weather conditions. It requires a surface speed of less than 20 km/h and the absence of windy weather in order to take off successfully.

The forecast for this Wednesday seems favourable and, in addition, it coincides with one of the pre-planned launch windows of between 8 am on Tuesday 30 and 10 am on Wednesday.

Although there may still be setbacks during the launch procedure – which lasts approximately 10 hours – PLD Space detailed that the Miura 1 “is ready to fly”.

It will take off from the facilities of the El Arenosillo Experiment Centre (CEDEA) of the National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA), in Moguer, Huelva.

“If we detect a minimal risk factor, the operation will be aborted and the next flight window will start from scratch”, said the co-founder and director of Launch, Raúl Torres, during the launch of the rocket in March.

Miura 1 is a micro-launcher rocket that will be used to put small satellites into orbit. It is 12.7m long, and 0.7m wide, powered by a TEPREL-B engine with a pressurized tank cycle.

It will weigh 2,500 kilograms at takeoff and has the capacity to carry a payload of up to 200 kilograms. Miura 1 has also been designed to carry cargo into space and return safely to Earth.

On its first mission, the Miura 1 will carry a 100kg payload from the German Centre for Applied Space Technology and Microgravity to a maximum altitude of 153km.

The rocket is expected to reach a speed of up to 2,700 km/h, and, upon re-entry into the atmosphere, deploy a parachute to break its fall into the ocean.

Afterwards, the PDL Space team will recover its rocket from the water with a boat. If all goes according to plan, Miura 1 will be one of the few reusable space launchers, along with Elon Musk’s SpaceX Falcon company, and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin. Miura technicians ensure that 60 per cent of its components can be recovered.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at