The team at Avio have a winner on their hands in the lightweight, easy-ride rocket named Vega. The European aerospace developers are now fine-tuning the rocket that may put their name on the global market in a big way while also staving off fast-rising developers like the ones from India’s own special rocket, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. The Vega rocket is getting an overhaul in terms of capabilities and Avio is dwelling further enhancements in order to further set themselves apart. Let’s dig right in and see what the European developers have in store for us.
Avio has been sitting across from India’s PSLV throughout the development of their Vega rocket and they’ve been trying to win in more than just a singular area. Avio wants to be the go-to company on the grounds of price as well as capabilities. Ideally, Avio would be able to beat out PSLV by way of a potential ‘mini-launcher’ which would allow them to provide materials and fabrication for smaller satellites and dedicated missions. Giulio Ranzo, the CEO of Avio, said, “I think we can differentiate ourselves by providing a more sophisticated, more performing service that’s more accurate, more reliable, more flexible, etc.” Ranzo easily admitted that they would never be able to combat India’s low price point, due in large part to wage-gap differences, but that didn’t stop him from touting his company all the same.
The Vega rocket made its debut back in 2012 and since then has gone on 11 missions. While this would easily be an impressive number in any other year, the recent work being done at SpaceX is fundamentally changing the game. Still, Vega has 11 launches under their belt, all of which have been successful, and that means that things are going in the right direction for the company. This is doubly important in that PSLV had their first failure just this past August after nearly 20 years of positive production. PSLV saw their rocket fail to properly separate from its payload. The Indian company will look to get back into the sky at some point in January.
Right now Avio is working alongside Arianespace in order to acquire a contract with multiple European governments in order to make their Vega C rocket a lock for multiple launches per year. Acquiring this kind of contract from that kind of buyer could pretty much change everything for the company’s current standing.