The “D-day” of the Miura-1, the experimental rocket developed by the Elche company PLD Space, is just around the corner. With this, speculation begins about What will be the exact date on which we can hear the countdown at the base of El Arenosillo, Huelva.
The next attempt to launch the first Miura rocket will occur over the next few days or weeks, according to the company itself. The rocket was taken at the beginning of the month to the El Arenosillo Experimentation Center of the National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA), where it is awaiting launch.
The fork may close slightly if we pay attention to the notifications for pilots, the notices also known as NOTAM. Taking into account these, we observe that the airspace around the air base will suffer restrictions starting in the morning. on October 2 and will continue until the 27.
This type of notification has already served fans to try to get ahead of the announcements and indicate possible dates during the launch attempts of the Miura. That attempt occurred in the spring of this year.
So PLD Space took advantage of two of the launch windows, May 31 and June 17, to try to launch the device. The second attempt was just a few tenths of a second away from takeoff, when the detachment of a cable forced the countdown to stop.
Now, we will have to wait to find out what this time will be the date on which the company launches the operation. As it happened in May It is to be hoped that caution will be the principle that guides the entire process.
As it is a suborbital and experimental flight, issues such as planetary alignments do not determine the selection of the takeoff time. The main reason why the dates are still speculative is another: meteorology.
If in the June attempt the person responsible for stopping the countdown was a cable, what stopped the countdown on May 31 was none other than an unfavorable weather report. That day the winds at altitude, between 8 and 12 kilometers in altitude, exceeded the maximum values established as safe, so the takeoff was stopped.
With its only engine, its 12.5 meters high and 70 centimeters in diameter, Miura-1 is a small rocket. However also large launch vehicles are, to a greater or lesser extent, conditioned by time.
Winds can deflect rockets, clouds and rain can reduce the visibility of equipment on the ground, and cold and humidity can cause problems. Problems as serious as frozen valves, like the one that forced the postponement of Starship’s first flight attempt on April 17.
It will be necessary to wait (although predictably not long) until the arrival of the announcement of the date for the launch of the Miura-1 rocket. Meanwhile, it should be remembered that this launch is nothing more than another step in the development of new rockets, particularly in the development of the Miura-5, which could become the first orbital rocket of Spanish creation.
The launch of Miura-1 will serve to test some of the systems that its “big brother”, the Miura-5, will carry. But first, the developers of these vehicles have an appointment in El Arenosillo. We don’t know the date yet, but it will be soon.
In Xataka | The amazing journey of the pioneering Spanish space company until its first launch: “In 2011 there were neither examples nor market”
Imagen | PLD Space