On 11 April 2019, Spain’s PLD Space, supported by ESA, demonstrated the technologies for a reusable first stage of their orbital microlauncher, Miura 5.
This drop test was carried out from El Arenosillo Experimentation Center in Spain.
A Chinook CH-47 helicopter lifted the 15 m long 1.4 m diameter Miura 5 demonstration first stage to an altitude of 5 km then dropped it over a controlled area of the Atlantic Ocean, 6 km off the coast of Huelva in southern Spain.
During the descent, electronic systems inside the demonstrator controlled a carefully timed release of three parachutes to slow it down until its splashdown at a speed of about 10 m/s.
A team of divers recovered the demonstrator and hoisted it onto a tugboat, which returned to the port of Mazagón for return to PLD Space, in Elche, for inspection and further analysis.