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

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  • The Spanish company is part of the pool of private launch providers to meet the space access needs of European institutions
  • The missions included in this program belong to the category of In-Orbit Demonstration and Validation (IOD/IOV), for new technologies in orbit 


Brussels, 23rd January 2024. 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 this Tuesday, 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." 


About PLD Space 

PLD Space is a pioneering Spanish aerospace company and a benchmark reference in Europe for developing reusable rockets. With a solid reputation and steadfast commitment, the company has produced notable orbital launchers: the suborbital MIURA 1 and the orbital MIURA 5. These innovations position Spain among the select few nations capable of successfully deploying small satellites into space.  

PLD Space was founded in 2011 by Raúl Torres and Raúl Verdú with the aim of facilitating access to space. The company, based in Elche (Alicante) and with technical facilities in Teruel, Huelva, and French Guiana, has already raised more than 65 million euros of investment to boost its space sector project and has a team of more than 160 professionals. 




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Financing has been received from Corporación Bética de Expansión Empresarial FCR, co-financed by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund, FEDER, for the realization of the project "Launches of MIURA 1 at INTA and I+D+i developments in Andalusia" with the aim of promoting technological development, innovation and quality research.

MIURA 1 launches at INTA and I+D+I development in Andalusia

Promote research, technological development and innovation

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