Branson’s Virgin Orbit files for bankruptcy – Technology Org

For quite a time, Virgin Orbit has been one of the major contenders in the aerospace sector.

Airplane from Virgin Orbit – illustrative photo. Image credit: Tmedia1 via Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 4.0

Now, the company which was established by the British billionaire Sir Richard Branson as a part of the Virgin Group has filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. The reason cited for this decision is associated with the failure to secure the new investment required to sustain its operations.

It experienced a serious setback after it failed to launch the first-ever satellite from the United Kingdom.

The company known for developing and launching small satellites into orbit using its air-launched rocket system called LauncherOne stopped its operations a few weeks ago. Last week, it announced job cuts which will amount to 85%. In total, the company had approximately 750 employees. 

The current owners of the company still hope to find a buyer for their business.

Virgin Orbit’s approach to small satellite launches offered flexibility and cost-effectiveness compared to traditional ground-based rocket launches. In the past, the company had launched several successful missions for customers such as NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense, as well as private companies and research institutions.