PLD Space co-founders Raúl Torres and Raúl Verdú with the 25kN engine developed by the company. (Credit: PLD Space)
ELCHE, Spain (PLD Space PR) — The European launch company PLD Space has been awarded by the Spanish Government with a $1.56M propulsion project called TEPREL.
TEPREL (Acronym for Spanish Reusable Propulsion Technologies for Launchers) will help PLD Space to continue their liquid rocket engine program, the first one dedicated to boost the small satellite industry in Europe. This project will help PLD Space to have a 35kN engine qualified for flight by the end of 2017.
PLD Space is working since 2014 with a proprietary propulsion system that will be used as first stage of the suborbital reusable rocket ARION 1. So far, the company has performed more than 30 tests of their first liquid rocket engine configuration, called calorimetric version, and now the Spanish Government with TEPREL will help PLD Space to continue its development with the regenerative version and the flight qualification unit.
The company is also working in parallel with a new engine version that uses the same TCA (Thrust Chamber Assembly) but has some modifications to be used as second stage of the PLD Space’s ARION 2 orbital reusable launch vehicle and also with a single shaft LOX/kerosene turbopump. All this propulsion developments will be qualified for the first orbital flight, targeted in early 2020.