GMV Invests Funds, Technology into Reusable Rocket Start-Up
[Via Satellite 01-09-2016] Spanish reusable rocket technology start-up PLD Space has received financial and technological backing from technology business group GMV. Alongside $7 million in funding through an investment fund and an office based in Valencia, GMV will also develop key technology and work jointly with PLD Space in the development of the launchers Arion 1 and Arion 2, with the aim of boosting the growth of both firms and winning a pole position in the market of small space launchers.
Under this agreement, GMV will aim to help develop the complete avionics of Arion 1 and Arion 2, including Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC), telemetry and onboard software of both launchers. GMV’s team will also be participating jointly with PLD Space in Arion 1 and Arion 2’s integration, qualification and launch-support operations, all during the phase of trial flights and commercial flights. According to GMV, flight test operations are scheduled to start in late 2018 with the maiden flight of the suborbital launcher Arion 1 from the El Arenosillo launch base in Huelva, Spain. Arion 1 will have two purposes: serve as an economical and reusable space access vehicle for technological development and scientific experimentation in space conditions, and be the technological demonstrator and forerunner of a much bigger and more ambitious vehicle, Arion 2, whose mission will be to place satellites of up to 150 kilograms in space orbit.