Spanish Startup PLD Space Faces Setback in Rocket Launch
By Tim Hepher
Spanish startup PLD Space encountered a setback in its latest attempt to launch the reusable Miura-1 rocket. The test launch, which would have been the first of its kind in Western Europe, was aborted at the last moment. Images showed flames and smoke briefly shooting sideways from the launchpad. Raul Torres, CEO and co-founder of PLD Space, expressed optimism despite the setback, stating that they are getting closer to successfully launching the rocket.
The launch was halted due to the failure of all the “umbilical cables in the avionics bay” to release, according to the company. This setback comes after Virgin Orbit’s failed orbital rocket launch from Britain in January, highlighting Europe’s efforts to develop launch capabilities for small satellites.
The Miura-1 rocket, named after a breed of fighting bulls, stands as tall as a three-storey building and has a cargo capacity of 100 kg (220 pounds). It also has the capability to carry out zero-gravity experiments.
Europe’s access to space has faced challenges recently, with the postponement of the last ever launch of the Ariane 5 space launcher and the grounding of the Vega-C rocket following a failed launch. The European Space Agency has even transferred launches to Elon Musk’s SpaceX. However, PLD Space remains determined to overcome obstacles and continue their mission.
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