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Spain’s PLD Space Facility Opened By Minister And Former Astronaut Pedro Duque

Spain’s Minister of Science, Innovation, and Universities – and former astronaut – Pedro Duque (right, standing) at the opening of the PLD Space facility. Photograph courtesy of PLD Space.

The Spanish Minister of Science, Innovation and Universities, Mr. Pedro Duque, the first astronaut in the history of Spain, has unveiled the PLD Space Propulsion facilities located at Teruel Airport.

During the event, the minister outlined that “PLD Space is the perfect example of a transfer between science and innovation”. Duque also highlighted the team’s work: “The enthusiasm of young engineers have made it possible for PLD Space not to be a long-term project, but a reality now.”

“We are honoured that Minister Pedro Duque has come to inaugurate and see these facilities first-hand, especially because of his personal link to the space sector, and the benchmark he has set for our country”, says Raul Torres, CEO and co-founder of PLD Space.

These facilities, unique within Spain, are being used to test the rocket engines that will launch into space at the end of the year. PLD Space built these facilities in 2014 when they settled at Teruel airport. However, they have recently expanded their infrastructure with an investment of several million euros.

PLD Space currently has two test benches in the facility at Teruel airport, each serving a different purpose. While the T1 bench is being used to qualify the MIURA 1 rocket engine for flight, the new constructed T2 test bench will be used to test the entire rocket in launch position, in preparation for the near-future space launch.

This event, which consisted of a guided tour of the facilities, followed by a brief introduction of the company, and a few words from the minister, was attended by a number of different personnel.

In addition to the Minister Pedro Duque, the sub-delegate of the Government of Aragon, the delegate of the Government of Spain in Aragon, the Secretary of Territorial Coordination, the Minister of Innovation, the sub-delegate of the Government of Teruel, the General Secretary of the Government of Teruel, the Rector and the Vice Rector of the Miguel Hernandez University in Elche (UMH) and the Manager of Parque Cientifico of UMH University were in attendance.

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