The first Spanish rocket, Miura 1, measures 12 meters high, weighs 2,500 kilos and is ready for takeoff at a military base located on the coast of Huelva. After its first two launch attempts were suspended (the first due to the strong wind and the second due to a technical failure), this early Saturday morning, at 2:00 a.m., a new countdown begins, which could be historic, as it claims. , from the takeoff ramp, Ezequiel Sánchez, who is the president of the Spanish company carrying out this pioneering space project.
“What we are doing is a unique feat in Europe because we are the first European private company that has managed to place a rocket on the launch ramp,” explains Ezequiel Sánchez. However, in its first flight, the Miura 1 only has the power to reach 80 kilometers in height and its first mission will only last 6 minutes.
Therefore, it is a suborbital flight, because the first Spanish rocket will not go into outer space and will fall into the Atlantic Ocean. But, although its flight will be short, it does have on board equipment designed by German scientists to be able to analyze the microgravity conditions that the Miura 1 will be able to reach for a few minutes.
Made in Spain
The Miura 1 has been designed and built by the Spanish company PLD Space and permission for its launch has been granted by the Ministry of Defense, which manages the “El Arenosillo” military base, located in the Huelva town of Mazagón. The flight of the MIURA 1 rocket will also mark the launch of the first private rocket in Europe.
This first mission carries on board an experiment from the German Center for Applied Space Technology and Microgravity (ZARM), which aims to study microgravity conditions.
However, the main objective of this first mission is to collect as much data as possible in flight in order to validate the design, technology and processes that will later be transferred and integrated into the MIURA 5 rocket, which will have the power to be able to go out into outer space in the year 2025.
The flight has a planned duration of 6 minutes in which the microgravity and apogee conditions are reached at an altitude of 80 kilometers. Finally, a PLD Space team will be in charge of collecting the rocket in the Atlantic Ocean, once splashdown has been completed.
PLD Space is a Spanish company that designs and builds reusable orbital microlaunchers that send small satellites into space. “Every second that MIURA 1 is in the air will be a second of success and a milestone for us,” says one of the aerospace engineers at PLD Space.
The main objective of the MIURA 1 SN1 mission is to collect as much flight data as possible. This fact will be very important to determine potential improvements or changes for the future MIURA 5 orbital launcher, whose first mission is scheduled for two years from now.
In addition, two ships will be in the area around the planned re-entry area, with the mission of trying to recover the MIURA 1 when it falls into the water in a clear area of the Atlantic Ocean.
In this sense, support means have been planned on board, such as divers specializing in underwater operations on the high seas and aerial surveillance equipment.