Virgin Orbit: Branson’s rocket dream ends after mission failure

129849067 virgin orbit 17
Virgin Orbit LauncherOne.Ministry of Defence

Sir Richard Branson’s rocket company Virgin Orbit has shut down, just months after a major mission failure.

The firm’s converted jet and leases on properties have been sold for $36m (£29m), just a fraction of the $3.7bn the company was valued at in 2021.

In March, Virgin Orbit said it would make most of its workforce redundant after failing to secure new investment.

The California-based firm filed for bankruptcy protection in the US early last month.

It came just weeks after the company paused operations in an apparent attempt to shore up its finances.

Earlier this year, a Virgin Orbit rocket failed to complete the first ever satellite launch from UK soil.

Virgin Orbit’s headquarters, rocket factory and equipment were bought by rival start-up, Rocket Lab, for $16.1m.

Its converted Boeing 747 jet, called Cosmic Girl, was sold for $17m to aerospace firm Stratolaunch.

Another space company, Launcher Inc, bought Virgin Orbit’s launch site and lease in the Mojave desert for $2.7m.

Virgin Orbit, which was founded in 2017, never turned a profit as a public company.

It developed rockets to carry small satellites and is part of Sir Richard’s business empire, which includes airline Virgin Atlantic and space tourism company Virgin Galactic.

The company’s LauncherOne rocket reached space but fell short of reaching its target orbit.

The mission was billed as a milestone for UK space exploration. It had been hoped it would mark a major step forward to fulfilling an ambition to turn the country into a global player – from manufacturing satellites to building rockets and creating new spaceports.

2px presentational grey line

You may also be interested in:

This video can not be played

To play this video you need to enable JavaScript in your browser.

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Vaping: Government plans underage crackdown
Ghetto Kids: Winning Britain’s Got Talent would mean a bigger house in Uganda
Lake Maggiore boat accident: Questions remain over spy deaths
Tree of Life synagogue: Gunman driven by ‘malice and hate’
Odisha train crash: ‘I survived but many died around me’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.