Italian rocket engine company stock surges in trading debut


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Capitalism in space: The stock of the Italian rocket engine company Avio jumped 11 percent in value on its first day of public trading.

The company is the prime contractor for Arianespace’s Vega rocket, and is also making engines and parts for the new Ariane 6 rocket being built by Airbus-Safran.

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6 comments

  • Diane Wilson

    Where will Vega launch from? Just curious…..

  • Diane Wilson: Vega has already launched several times from French Guiana, as do all Arianespace rockets. The union strike there right now however has frozen all launches.

  • Diane Wilson

    The union strike was my point. Depending on fallout from the strike, French Guiana may no longer be a safe and/or reliable launch site. Arianespace doesn’t have a lot of options, though, and continued turmoil can only raise the costs and seriously delay their launches. They can’t afford for the strike to get further out of control.

  • LocalFluff

    @Diane Wilson
    My impression is that the Guiana strike will abate quickly and peacefully after the French presidential election. They don’t want to lose their space port. Because they could hold it as hostage again sometime. It is not as if their society is collapsing, it is just a money grabbing strike. They were already offered a gift from Paris of €1 billion but demanded 2.5 ($10,000 per inhabitant) because the election isn’t until May 7. Standard French procedure.

  • Diane Wilson

    @LocalFluff
    Two things. First, I can’t see a connection between the strike and the French election, although I could be missing it entirely. Before or after the election, the current President is out anyway. No incentive there. Assuming usual French politics, the election won’t produce a clear majority winner, so there will be a run-off, probably a couple of months away. In any case, if a candidate promises to pay, does that help or hurt their election chances? Can the French President simply pay this amount without some approval somewhere in the government? I’m just not seeing it.

    Second, these strikes have a way of getting out of control. “French politics as usual” and Latin American political history is a bad mix. And I understand that the Guianans feel like France takes them for granted. They may not have much incentive to settle without having the money in hand.

  • LocalFluff

    @Diane Wilson
    First of all, I never were close to French Guyana. I understand French somewhat, but have resigned from trying to really understand French culture. So I’m no authority here. I mostly rely on my cynical realism about how politics like this works in Europe. Some naive online (space nerd oriented) claims are being made about this strike that I want to warn about, hopefully guiding those interested to think twice about their conclusions.

    The election has all the attention of all news media in France. So it is of course extremely opportune for the strikers to take advantage of that. And all leading candidates have already made this strike an issue in their campaigns. The final election is on May 7, between the two winners on April 23.

    Marine Le Pen is all for supporting workers’ unions, and of course all proper French citizens which includes all Guyanians. And she has the upper hand on the immigration issue (from violently failing Venezuela). And on the EU membership issue (which hurts Guyana’s trade in America). And on the general disability of the sitting Paris regime. I would think that her standing up for Guyana, which is not exactly only populated by white French colonialists, but by Frenchmen of colors, helps her a bit to get rid of the MSM label as a “racist”. French nationalism has never been about race.

    So status quo candidates have to respond to that by offering cash bribes and the orderly return to everyday life. The strikers extort that to try to profit more, even if they probably realize that they’d do better with it over a Le Pen victory. I expect them to give into some compromise opportunistically any time. But at least after May 7 it will be as it was before the election campaigns, and they will have minimal to gain from continuing the strike. Then the elected president can easily send in troops to resume launches from the space port and almost no French will hear or care about it. I suppose they timed this to fit their strike funds. When unpaid striking workers get hungry they go back to work.

    The president of France of course can do whatever he or she wants!
    Hollande doesn’t do anything just because he doesn’t want anything.

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