In May 2019, Spanish company PLD Space suffered a catastrophic engine failure, which caused material damage, including the loss of the first flight version of the TEPREL-B liquid rocket engine, developed by PLD Space for MIURA 1 launch vehicle. Therefore, the company decided to pause the qualification process and analyse the root causes of the failure to solve the problems found.
After eight months of hard work, PLD Space announced on 27 February 2020 that it has successfully achieved a full mission duration hot test of the flight engine. This allowed the company to validate the nominal engine performance during the full mission duration burn of two minutes, the necessary time to boost MIURA 1 launch vehicle into space.
“This milestone is a huge step forward for PLD Space, for the Spanish space sector and the European small launcher competitiveness, and allow us to be one of the few companies in the world that has successfully developed, tested and qualified propulsion technologies for space launch vehicles,” said Raúl Torres, CEO and co-founder of PLD Space. “Achieving this important milestone implies a turning point in the commercial space race and take us a step closer for launching MIURA 1 into space. With this result, PLD Space has a rocket engine capable of reaching space soon”