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PLD Space invests 10 million euros in MIURA 5 Launch Complex in French Guiana

PLD Space invests 10 million euros in MIURA 5 Launch Complex in French Guiana

The launcher company PLD Space has announced an investment of 10 million euros in MIURA 5 Launch Complex at Guiana Space Center (CSG), Europe’s spaceport in Kourou (French Guiana), owned by the French Space Agency (CNES) and the European Space Agency (ESA). With the first launch of its rocket at the end of 2025, PLD Space will become the first non-institutional launch operator that will go to orbit from this historical base.


PLD Space has always been committed to the CNES/CSG as the main site for MIURA 5 recurrent launches because is the most competitive launch base in Europe. Kourou is the unique base in Europe with operational experience where MIURA 5 can achieve any orbit. “Our first approach to our colleagues in French Guyana was in 2018, proud to start our operations in Kourou as the original commercial launcher company in Europe,” states the Chief Business Development Officer and Co-founder of PLD Space, Raúl Verdú. “For PLD Space, it is also the opportunity to close the circle by developing, manufacturing, testing and also launching rockets to orbit from European territory.”


Following the binding agreement signed with CNES in June 2023, PLD Space is ready to start the civil works of its Launch Complex in the ELM-Diamant site at CSG after summer 2024 with the support of the French Authorities. The Spanish company PLD Space plans to make a very efficient 10 million euros investment for the construction of the main launch site for MIURA 5, the necessary infrastructure during the launch campaign and preparations for the recovery of the rocket, a pioneer in the application of the reusability feature in its segment.


To this end, PLD Space has established a French subsidiary in Kourou and is formalizing with CNES the contracts that will allow it to initiate the first investments in Kourou. Furthermore, the company is firmly committed to the generation of sustainable local wealth and its plan is to incorporate industrial suppliers from the region in order to consolidate a strong local supply chain. “The space launch industry has a catalyst effect on investment and creates a 'pull effect' on the whole economic structure of the area,” explains Verdú.


Initially, PLD Space will create more than ten direct jobs and 50 indirect in Kourou, a figure that will grow progressively as the number of launches increases. The company’s manifesto includes a target of 30 launches per year by 2030. “We want as many of these flights as possible to take place from the Europe’s spaceport, with the appropriate sizing of local team,” adds Verdú.

 

This will be the Launch Complex for MIURA 5

Totally, PLD Space has 15,765 square meters at the ELM-Diamant site. This area is divided between its own launch zone and a preparation area, comprising an integration hangar, a clean room, a control center, and both commercial and work offices.


CNES undertakes to provide the “common means” for MIURA 5 launch operations, such as road access, electricity supply, fire water network and access controls to the general complex. The French space agency also will make an area of the CNES/CSG available to PLD Space, where the launch zone will be located.


For its side, PLD Space undertakes to develop the specific means needed for MIURA 5’s integration, testing and launch operations at the CNES/CSG base.


Project progress is on schedule and civil works for the complex are expected to begin after this summer. The company's plan targets mid-2025 for Launch Complex acceptance to begin MIURA 5 launch campaign by the end of 2025.

 

About MIURA 5

MIURA 5 is an orbital launcher with a two-stage configuration and a height of 35.7 metres that is designed, built and operated by PLD Space. With the capacity to place payloads of up to 540 kg in a 500 km sun-synchronous orbit (SSO), MIURA 5 operates from the world-renowned Kourou spaceport in French Guiana.


MIURA 5 contributes to ultra-green and clean technology practices with measures such as the recovery of its first stage, which is retrieved from the ocean and reused for subsequent missions.

In addition, PLD Space uses bio-kerosene (bio RP-1) and liquid oxygen (LOX) in its in-house designed TEPREL-C engines, thereby contributing to a reduction in carbon emissions.


MIURA 5 features more than 70% of the technology and know-how generated with the development of the MIURA 1 technology demonstrator, which on October 7, 2023 made history by becoming the first private rocket developed and launched in Europe.

 

About PLD Space

PLD Space is a pioneering Spanish aerospace company and a benchmark reference in Europe for developing reusable rockets. With a solid reputation and steadfast commitment, the company has produced MIURA launcher family. These innovations position Spain among the select few nations capable of successfully deploying small satellites into space.

 

PLD Space was founded in 2011 by Raúl Torres and Raúl Verdú with the aim of facilitating access to space. The company, based in Elche (Alicante) and with technical facilities in Teruel, Huelva and French Guiana, has a team of more than 220 professionals.

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