Private Spanish space company PLD Space confirmed its reusable rocket has been lost after falling into the Atlantic Ocean following its re-entry into the atmosphere.
The Miura 1 rocket was designed to be recoverable and reusable. The Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (INTA), a space research body that depends of Spain’s Ministry of Defense, is also a partner of this project.
The rocket was successfully launched at 2.19 am on October 7, 2023, from the coast of Huelva province, on Spain’s southwestern Atlantic coast. It managed to reach an altitude of 45 km before initiating the maneuver to re-enter the atmosphere.
This was the third launch attempt for this rocket. Two previous attempts, in May and June 2023, had to be aborted due to technical issues, the latest of which occurred when the final countdown was already underway.
The plan was for the Miura 1 to fall into a designated spot in the Atlantic Ocean from where it would be recovered by a ship. However, recovery efforts failed, and the rocket has been written off.
In a public statement posted on social network X, PLD Space confirmed the loss of the rocket, but also expressed its satisfaction that the primary goal of the mission, the testing of numerous technologies, was successful.
PLD Space is already working on the Miura 5, which it expects to launch in 2025.