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  • Satellite Evolution Group

PLD Space, selected by ESA and the European Commission for the Flight Ticket Initiative launch

PLD Space has been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Commission (EC) as one of the five companies that will launch institutional missions into space in the framework of the Flight Ticket Initiative. This program aims to create a pool of private launch providers to meet the space access needs of European institutions.

PLD Space is the only Spanish company chosen to access these contracts, together with Arianespace (France), Isar Aerospace (Germany), Orbex Space (United Kingdom) and Rocket Factory Augsburg (Germany). "This milestone positions PLD Space as the only Spanish company in the global commercial launch industry," states PLD Space Co-founder and CBDO Raúl Verdú.

The announcement was made official January 23rd during the European Space Conference, taking place in Brussels. The selection of PLD Space as part of the Flight Ticket Initiative allows the Spanish company to access a future ESA or EC launch contract and means the recognition by the European institutions that with MIURA 5 the company will offer a launch service suitable for the market from the end of 2025.

"We are delighted that, for the first time, private companies such as PLD Space, Isar, Orbex or RFA, have access to institutional launch contracts both by ESA and the European Commission. This is a very important step for the launch industry, although there is still a long way to go," says Verdú.

The missions included in the Flight Ticket Initiative are those in the In-Orbit Demonstration and Validation (IOD/IOV) category, for the demonstration and validation of new technologies in space. The five operators that have just been selected by ESA and the EC will compete for the specific launch contract for each of these missions.

"This kind of initiative should be given to goal-oriented and higher-efficiency companies," highlights PLD Space Executive President Ezequiel Sánchez. "Up until now, supply has been favored over demand orientation; it is always important to move in the direction of the market needs."

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