Italian rocket engine maker Avio has launched its shares on the Milan stock exchange.
And they were a roaring success, rising by as much as 11 percent at one stage on Monday and ending the trading session up 6.6 percent.
Avio, which is the main European rival to the likes of Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin, is the first rocket launch specialist to have its shares listed.
The company plans to use the money raised to advance its technology and better compete against those deep-pocketed rivals.
Chief executive Giulio Ranzo told Euronews: “Everyday life here on Earth is more and more dependent on services coming from space. Everyone uses mobile phones, we use GPS navigation in our cars, every morning you get your weather forecast which comes from satellite images. All of that is just a fraction of what we’ll see in the near future. In two or three years we’ll be accessing the internet from space rather than using wifi or the other current technologies for internet access. We’ll have a signal anywhere in the world, we’ll be able to log on to the internet in the middle of the desert or the middle of the ocean. And also, we will have better images from space, high definition, with a very fast refresh rate that will allow everyone to objectively see the real time evolution of our planet.”
Watch the full interview here (in Italian)
Avio is 28 percent owned by the Italian aerospace and defence group Leonardo Finmeccanica.
It makes the Vega rocket, and the engines for the first stage of the future Ariane 6. It has facilities in Italy, France and the launch site in French Guiana in south America.
The European Space Agency is one of its main clients but it has also launched satellites for Google Maps.