Miura 1
Miura 1 exhibited in Madrid in November 2021
FunctionSub-orbital reusable launch vehicle
ManufacturerPLD Space
Country of originSpain
Size
Height12.7 m (42 ft)
Diameter0.7 m (2 ft 4 in)
Mass2,550 kg (5,620 lb)
Stages1
Capacity
Payload to suborbital (150 km)
Mass100 kg (220 lb)[1]
Launch history
StatusActive
Launch sitesEl Arenosillo
Total launches1
Success(es)1
Failure(s)0
Partial failure(s)0
First flightOctober 7, 2023
First stage
Powered by1 TEPREL-B
Maximum thrust30.2 kN (6,800 lbf) [2]
Burn time122 seconds
Propellantliquid oxygen (1,000 L) / kerosene (600 L)[3]

Miura 1 (previously called Arion 1)[4][5] is a suborbital recoverable launch vehicle developed by the Spanish company PLD Space. It is planned to be the first recoverable launch vehicle in Europe.[6] It was first launched successfully on October 7, 2023, at 00:19 UTC.[7][8]

Design

Miura 1 was originally proposed as a two-stage rocket capable of achieving suborbital flight. It was originally planned to be 12 m long, with a capacity of 250 kg (551 lb). The engines were to use liquid oxygen and kerosene as propellants.[9]

In its final design, Miura 1 is a 12.7 m long 0.7 m diameter one-stage rocket, propelled by one TEPREL-B engine. The vehicle can fly a payload of up to 200 kg on a suborbital trajectory. The propulsion system is equipped with actuators to tilt the engine for an active thrust vector control.[10] Additionally, Miura 1 is equipped with a recovery system using its engines and parachutes that enable PLD Space to recover the vehicle from the ocean and re-use the complete launch vehicle.[11] With this, it will be the first recoverable launch vehicle in Europe.[6] Miura 1 is intended to be used for scientific research or technology development in a microgravity environment and/or in the upper atmosphere. Furthermore, about 70% of the technology developed for Miura 1 is planned to be used on the Miura 5 orbital rocket.[12]

Development progress

In December 2019 GMV announced that the Miura 1 avionics system had passed the qualification phase.[13]

Miura 1 exhibited in Madrid in November 2021

In March 2020, the stress test of the Miura 1 pressurized tanks was carried out to check their ability to withstand the working pressure (more than 400 bars (5,800 psi)) with a successful result.[14] COPVs (Composite Overwrapped Pressure Vessel) are used to pressurize propellant tanks and are a fundamental element of many launchers.[15]

In July 2020 the German Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity (ZARM) successfully completed vibration tests of its payload that will fly on the first launch (Test Flight-1) of Miura 1.[16]

On April 7, 2022, the company carried out the first test of the complete launcher at its facilities in Teruel, being the first test in Europe of a rocket propelled by liquid fuel and aimed to reach space and developed by a private company.[17][18][19][a]

After the first launch, the company said that they developed Miura 1 for just under 30 million euros.[8]

First launch

The first test flight of Miura 1 was initially planned for 2021[20] from an experimental rocket launch site in Almonte (Huelva), southwestern Spain, administered by El Arenosillo,[21] and it will carry a payload from the German Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity (ZARM).[5] Up to eight suborbital launches are targeted per year. It has been delayed to 2022.[22]

On May 31, 2023, Miura 1, a launch window opened at 00:00 UTC, but was cancelled due to upper-level winds. On June 17, the company tried again, but the ignition of the engines was cancelled due to the on-board systems detecting abnormal parameters in the vehicle. Following that, and taking into account the increased risk of fires around the launch area due to high temperatures, the company decided in coordination with the Civil Guard to postpone a new launch attempt until fall.[23] The launch occurred on October 7, 2023, at 00:19 UTC.[24] The rocket reached an apogee of 46 km.[7] PLD Space considers this first launch to have been a success despite the apogee being only 46 km instead of 80 km (the decision was made before the launch to target a low altitude, flatter trajectory instead of a high altitude trajectory because of range safety reasons). The rocket was unable to be recovered after it splashed down in the planned location in the Atlantic. After most probably developing a water leak into the fuel tank because of the rocket hitting the sea, the rocket sank.[8]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Other liquid propellant engines were not designed to reach space (> 100 km altitude), or were developed by government institutions, for example the V2 rocket or Ariane rocket family.

References

  1. ^ Foust, Jeff (16 September 2022). "PLD Space completes static-fire tests of Miura 1". SpaceNews. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  2. ^ "La guía definitiva del cohete Miura 1 de PLD Space". 26 November 2021.
  3. ^ "MIURA 1". PLD Space. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  4. ^ Henry, Caleb (28 November 2018). "PLD Space, after ESA input, doubles lift capacity of smallsat launcher". SpaceNews. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Since today, MIURA is the new PLD Space rocket's commercial brand" (Press release). PLD Space. 13 November 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  6. ^ a b Marín, Daniel (16 Feb 2018). "Europa apuesta por PLD Space para alcanzar el espacio". Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  7. ^ a b "PLD Space successfully completes first private space rocket launch in Europe". PLD Space. 7 October 2023. Retrieved 8 October 2023.
  8. ^ a b c Foust, Jeff (October 20, 2023). "PLD Space calls first launch a success". Space News. Retrieved October 21, 2023.
  9. ^ Marín, Daniel (6 July 2015). "La primera prueba de un motor cohete de combustible líquido en España". Eureka. Naukas. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  10. ^ "MIURA 1 – Payload User's guide" (PDF). Retrieved November 13, 2022.
  11. ^ Henry, Caleb (11 June 2018). "PLD Space raises additional $10 million for reusable smallsat launchers". SpaceNews. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  12. ^ López Sánchez, Gonzalo (22 Jan 2018). "Arion, el cohete español capaz de alcanzar la Luna". abc.es. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  13. ^ "GMV Avionics System To Be Integrated Into Spain's PLD Space MIURA-1 Launch Vehicle". spacewatch.global. Retrieved November 13, 2022.
  14. ^ @PLD_Space (March 10, 2020). "El tanque de alta presión de helio reforzado con carbono (COPV >400bar) ha sido ensayado con éxito (ensayo destruct…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  15. ^ Marin, Daniel (4 March 2020). "PLD Space: el retorno". naukas.com. Retrieved November 13, 2022.
  16. ^ @PLD_Space (July 22, 2020). "The Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity @ZARM_de in Germany successfully completed the payload vibr…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  17. ^ Foust, Jeff (September 16, 2022). "PLD Space completes static-fire tests of Miura 1". Space News. Retrieved November 13, 2022.
  18. ^ @RaulTorresPLD (April 8, 2022). "El #MIURA1 ha rugido. Anoche hicimos historia al probar por primera vez sobre Europa continental, un lanzador de pr…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  19. ^ "MIURA 1 Static Test #1 - YouTube". YouTube.
  20. ^ "PLD Space, la ambición de lanzar satélites con cohetes reutilizables" [PLD Space, and the ambition to launch satellites with reusable rockets]. El País (in Spanish). 11 August 2020. Retrieved 17 August 2020.
  21. ^ "Agreement reached between INTA and PLD Space to launch MIURA 1 from the "El Arenosillo"" (Press release). PLD Space. 21 November 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  22. ^ "Radiografía del Miura 1; el primer cohete espacial español despegará de Huelva en 2022" [Radiography of Miura 1; the first Spanish space rocket will lift off from Huelva in 2022]. El Español (in Spanish). 13 November 2021. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  23. ^ "Programado el siguiente intento de lanzamiento de Miura 1 a partir de septiembre" [Next Miura 1 launch attempt scheduled for September]. PLD Space. 27 June 2023. Retrieved 27 June 2023.
  24. ^ "Spain's MIURA 1 launch campaign kicks off". PLD Space (Press release). 3 October 2023. Retrieved 4 October 2023.