Spanish rocket launch aborted due to last-minute glitch

A last-minute technical problem has stalled the maiden flight of Spain’s first rocket on Saturday.

According to Raul Torres, a co-founder of PLD Space in a tweet, the launch of the Miura 1 in the southwestern provence of Huelva was “automatically aborted” as some of the umbilicals — which are used to provide power and fuel to rockets — did not release as it should,

“We will analyse the data to have more information,” he added.

The launch of the Miura 1, named after a breed of fighting bulls, had initially been scheduled for May 31 but was postponed due to high winds.

Standing just 12 metres (40 feet) tall, the small reusable rocket was to fly 100 kilometres (62 miles) above Earth.

While that distance would put it in outer space, the rocket is not powerful enough to reach orbit.

Saturday’s sub-orbital launch had been slated to bring a payload with micro-gravity experiments.

Companies are rushing to develop launchers to address a growing satellite market.

Around 18,500 small orbiters weighing less than 500 kilos (1,100 pounds) are projected to be launched in the coming decade, according to analysts from Euroconsult.

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