SEPTEMBER will be third time lucky for the launch of Spain’s first private rocket to be sent into space, amidst concerns of starting forest fires during the warmest part of the year.

Elche’s PLD Space was due to launch Miura 1 from the El Arenosillo military base in Huesca on May 31, but was postponed due to strong winds.

A rearranged date of June 17 did not happen due to what the company said was a ‘last-minute technical issue’.

Now the summer heat has pushed things back to September with the exact launch date yet to be declared.

In a statement, the National Institute for Aerospace Technology said: “The postponement is motivated by obligatory compliance with the prevention of forest fires… as well as the high temperatures in southern Spain to ensure the safety of the area where the launch is carried out”.

Miura 1 is a small sub-orbital launch vehicle that stands 12 metres and is capable of placing objects in space.

When it does launch, the journey will be just 100 kilometres from the Earth’s surface, using sensors to study microgravity conditions during a 12 minute flight,

The aim is to use anything learnt from the short journey to incorporate adjustments to Miura 5, which is a larger orbital micro-launcher with parts that can be recovered and reused.

PLD Space aims to put small satellites of up to 450 kilos into orbit from 2025 via Mirua 5 which would be launched from the European spaceport in French Guiana after signing an agreement last week.

If successful, the Elche company would be the first private European operator to launch a reusable satellite rocket into space.


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