WASHINGTON — Spanish company PLD Space has raised enough funding to embark on an expansion of production facilities for its small launch vehicle.

The company announced April 23 that it has raised 78 million euros ($83.4 million) to date from its “industrial and qualified institutional” shareholders. They include aerospace manufacturer Aciturri and Spain’s Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology.

The investment is in addition to 40.5 million euros the company won from the Spanish government’s PERTE Aerospace initiative in January. The total funding from PERTE is 42 million euros when counting 1.5 million euros from an initial phase received in July 2023. That brings the total funding for PLD Space since its inception to 120 million euros.

PLD Space did not disclose how much funding it raised in its latest tranche, although company officials said last year, after the launch of its Miura 1 suborbital rocket, that it had developed that rocket for about 30 million euros.

“The funding for our work has been one of the most difficult tasks in developing our Miura family of rockets. Despite this, the successful launch of Miura 1 has bolstered our position as leaders in the industry, an achievement acknowledged by investors and clients,” Raúl Verdú, co-founder and chief business development officer of PLD Space, said in a statement.

The company said that the new funds will go towards an expansion of its production and test facilities, growing them from 169,000 to 834,000 square meters. Those facilities will be used for development of its Miura 5 small launch vehicle. That includes 18,400 square meters of industrial facilities at its headquarters and 800,000 square meters reserved for testing.

Expansion of the factory is already underway, and the company expects to open it in mid-2024. That factory will be used for the Miura 5 small launch vehicle PLD Space is producing. PLD Space is also preparing to start work this year on the construction of its launch site at Kourou, French Guiana.

The company will use the funding to expand its workforce. The company has grown from 161 to 194 employees so far this year, with a goal of reaching 300 people by the end of the year.

The funding, PLD Space said, keeps the company on track to make a first test launch of Miura 5 in 2025. The company projects beginning commercial launches in 2026.

Jeff Foust writes about space policy, commercial space, and related topics for SpaceNews. He earned a Ph.D. in planetary sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree with honors in geophysics and planetary science...