Richard Branson ends Virgin Orbit operations after UK space mission failure

6 months ago 59

Richard Branson's Virgin Orbit has announced it volition beryllium shutting down.

It comes a fewer months aft a space ngo ended successful disappointment, erstwhile a rocket carrying the archetypal satellites launched from the UK failed to scope orbit and was lost.

On Tuesday, the steadfast revealed it was closing down aft its assets were sold for $36.4m (£29 million).

An statement was besides made to merchantability the bulk of its Long Beach, California, office to a small-launch steadfast called Rocket Lab USA.

According to a tribunal filing, Rocket Lab won the Virgin Orbits superior manufacturing tract for $16m.

The acquisition statement included machinery and instrumentality that had been utilized to manufacture Virgin Orbits flagship LauncherOne rockets.

The rocket - which began operational flights successful 2021- was air-launched from the belly of a modified Boeing 747.

The California-based steadfast enactment retired a connection thanking its employees and different stakeholders.

Virgin Orbit said it would merchantability its assets to a full of 4 winning bidders and extremity operations.

"The combined full proceeds were determined by a rigorous and competitory auction which maximizes worth for the property and minimises the remaining duration of the Company's restructuring," the connection said.

"Virgin Orbit's bequest successful the abstraction manufacture volition everlastingly beryllium remembered."

Part of the wider Virgin Group, the steadfast was founded by billionaire Richard Branson and is simply a institution wrong the Virgin Group.

A timeline of events

2017: The institution was archetypal formed.

May 2020: LauncherOne - the rocket - fails to scope orbit connected its archetypal launch.

January 2021: LauncherOne becomes the archetypal Virgin Orbit spacecraft to scope orbit successfully.

June 2021: The rocket LauncherOne delivers its archetypal commercialized payload to space.

January 2022: LauncherOne delivers 7 CubeSats for 3 customers into orbit.

July 2022: LauncherOne flies a palmy mission.

January 2023: LauncherOne failed to scope orbit from the UK astatine Spaceport Cornwall.

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In March, Virgin Orbit announced it would beryllium laying disconnected 85% of immoderate of its 750 employees.

The institution past filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy extortion successful aboriginal April.

The steadfast besides plans to merchantability its craft assets, including the modified Boeing 747 Cosmic Girl carrier craft to Stratolaunch for 17 cardinal dollars.

Its superior motorboat tract volition beryllium sold to spacecraft start-up Launcher Inc.

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