Alejandro Ibrahim, the father of the first Spanish rocket, believed in ‘Roles’.

Alejandro Ibrahim, the father of the first Spanish rocket, believed in ‘Roles’.

Alexander Ibrahim Remember where PowerPoint is Raul Verdo and Raul Torres, Then 23 and 24 years old, they showed him the initial blueprint of the rocket. It could be “any” rocket. Too naive, too. The general director of Teruel International Airport, which has made the airport the fourth largest in Spain since 2012, avoids the word ‘geeks’. Create their sketches and test rockets in a corner. “They joined the university rocketry club and built amateur rockets. They wanted to build a big rocket that could fly 100-200 meters high and that was their company. [alumbrada en 2011] took off They did it with the typical enthusiasm of children at the end of their race,” he tells this newspaper.

Ibrahim Teruel takes those first “small steps” that ‘Rouls’ took from the hangar. “I met them in 2014. They were looking for funding, they set up the company with a loan of 3,000 euros from their parents or relatives, and their problem was that they couldn’t find anywhere to test the rocket engines. They weren’t allowed in the municipal industrial parks because of the noise. They came from Else and that They came to street work because of the circumstances. We had a big field, and we were lucky that there were no planes at that time, and we saw them with great enthusiasm and enthusiasm: “You can put yourself there at the end of the field.”

At that time, the two promising boys did not go to ask NASA, they took each step alone, thanks to their “special gift”, with the occasional help of an engineer from the Teruel base. , he affirms. A proud man who believed in them from the beginning.

The nickname given to the creators of PLD Space – the Spanish ‘Elon Musk’ – inspires the satisfaction of this engineer born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, who continues the story: “We think: “The worst “will happen in a few months they will take it and leave.” We don’t use that space for anything else, I’m an aeronautical engineer myself and I know what this field is like, it’s very complicated to work in that dream. I watched them with great interest…”, he asserts.

Ibrahim, a father of two, did not object. He invited Verdo and Torres annually for summer campus studies at the University of Zaragoza. They began by describing their future “plans” when they participated for the first time; On October 7th, we were able to launch the Miura 1 from the El Arenosillo military base (Hulva), anticipating what could happen (and did) last summer, the only military base in our country authorized for this type of launch. “The cooperation of the Ministry of Defense is also fundamental,” Ibrahim said, promoting this historic trip.

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Teruel, Test Bench

“They wanted to be the first Spanish private company to send a rocket into space. The truth is that they have achieved it: they have extraordinary merit,” the president also praises. Aeronautical, Space and Defense Cluster of Aragon (AERA). But his record at Teruel was not so surprising. They have been customers of the airport for nine years. They’ve seen them butt heads to secure 65 million euros in various rounds of funding, which has “always been very difficult,” says Ibrahim, who sometimes comes to console them with a coffee in hand. Frustrated, they test the rockets statically and see how the engine fails, failing to pass ground tests in 110 seconds. “You have to do many hours of static rehearsal, then dynamic, flying and not flying. It’s very common in this industry, we’re certified, and we were the best place for these tests. Because, as they say, they’re launching “a bus to space.” And “To fly in the sky, you must first do it on earth,” they reiterate.

They were concerned about having these infrastructures, and that’s what Deruvel has provided them, which has helped them be their training bank for all the technologies they’re developing, the director appreciates. For this reason, Ibrahim declared and repeats in this conversation with ABCDeroule and its airport feel involved in the success they have achieved“The Miura 1 was built 100 percent in this town of 36,000 people, and now they’re going to do it with the Miura 5.”

“First, more than 200 tests were done per rocket, but now, with the Miura 5, they are planning 15 launches a year, and they have six engines. That means there will be a lot more work,” argues Ibrahim.

Spain, ‘Top Ten’ in Selected World

With its launch on October 7, Spain was among a select group of ten countries in the world to be able to launch a rocket. One hundred percent ‘Made in Spain’ with technology. Within those ten countries – compares Ibrahim, who has worked in several states outside of Spain – are places where the administration itself is investing in those impossible “dreams”. «The space issue in Spain was seen as science fiction just a few years ago. This is not true in the US, but here it is a very ambitious project. Miura 1. There is no legacy of investing in disruptive technologies like this in the BLD space. Titanic has made an effort. The Spanish space industry was not born with PLD space, but we didn’t have launchers, we didn’t have this innovative technology, they, Raul Verdu and Raul Torres, have opened this door” creates the airport director. During the pandemic it became the largest air depot in Europe.

Ibrahim, now in his thirties as their ‘godfather’ whom he “loves so much”, does not minimize the fact: “In 2012-13, nobody noticed them. They have achieved it with great effort“There were only two young people with a lot of passion, and now there are 150 people working in the PLD space.” Ibrahim tried to persuade them to stay in the street where offices are located in Mudejar town, but they ‘pulled’ for his land. Even so, last July, they renewed the offer, multiplying a portion of the land they had seen by ten (which would mean settling in the airport for the next 25 years) to accommodate their employees.

Airport in unstoppable takeoff

Teruel Airport is not dedicated to the commercial activity of inbound and outbound passengers. It is an aircraft maintenance, repair and recycling airport, one of the most important in the world in this area. At present, with 25 years of business concessions, it has ten permanently established companies and more than 650 people working in its facilities.

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It’s a perfect machine shop: here “we complete the useful life of the aircraft,” says its director. Since the aircraft arrived, it has been maintained, preserved, dismantled (more than 90 aircraft have been dismantled since opening), it is painted … The average life of an aircraft is 30 years During this life the airport can be used for aircraft repairs. The airport has changed under the leadership of Ibrahim The largest job creation in the province of Teruel. “This is not a summer job, the privileges are not for three days,” says its director, explaining the promising future that awaits these facilities that already extend over 550 hectares. It is the most privately owned airport because the interest is “clearly autonomous”: 60% owned by the Aragon Government and 40% by the Teruel City Council, very interested in creating quality employment and settling their workers in the province. Teruel.

In particular, in addition to having the largest aircraft in the world, A380s, Count it Hangar for airships, the cutting-edge technology of American company Sky, which already flies in New Mexico (USA) and has set up its base in Spain in the Aragonese city. What will be developed here are balloons that can rise up to 20 kilometers (above airplanes flying at 11 km) and carry measurement and communication systems… similar to satellites but at lower altitudes that can be easily retrieved from Earth. . They are new technologies emerging on other continents and Europe is now importing.

“We turned the tables Ibrahim says, questioning the conditions at the so-called empty Spain airport. “We took advantage of the weaknesses to create the main virtues of the Teruel airport: the semi-desert climate and ample land for facilities suitable for these aircraft repair, maintenance and storage operations.” Perhaps the place doesn’t have the “charm” of a conventional airport, he acknowledges its huge stacks, “where passengers enter and exit, here only engineers enter and exit”, but “the airport continues to grow”. Continuous departure. And it has celebrated the tenth anniversary of its inception without stopping.


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