Richard Branson ends Virgin Orbit operations after failed UK space mission | Tech News

Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit has announced it is closing.

a few months later space The mission ended in disappointment when the rocket carrying the first satellites launched from the UK failed to reach orbit and was lost.

On Tuesday, the company revealed it would close after selling its assets for $36.4m (£29m).

also reached an agreement to sell most of its Long Beach, californiabased in a small launch company called Rocket Lab USA.

Rocket Lab won Virgin Orbits’ main manufacturing base for $16 million, according to a court filing.

The purchase agreement includes machinery and equipment used to build Virgin Orbit’s flagship LauncherOne rocket.

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

The California-based company issued a statement thanking its employees and other stakeholders.

virgin track Said it would sell the assets to a total of four successful bidders and wind down operations.

“The total proceeds of the merger were determined through a rigorous and competitive auction that maximized the value of the estate and minimized the time remaining for corporate restructuring,” the statement said.

“Virgin Orbit’s legacy in the space industry will always be remembered.”

The company is part of the broader Virgin Group, founded by billionaire Richard Branson as a Virgin Group company.

schedule of events

2017: At the beginning of the company’s establishment.

May 2020: LauncherOne – the rocket – failed to reach orbit on its first launch.

January 2021: LauncherOne becomes the first Virgin Orbit spacecraft to successfully enter orbit.

June 2021: Rocket LauncherOne sent its first commercial payload into space.

January 2022: LauncherOne sent seven CubeSats into orbit for three customers.

July 2022: LauncherOne flew successfully.

January 2023: LauncherOne failed to reach orbit from the Cornwall spaceport in England.

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In March, Virgin Orbit announced it would lay off 85% of its 750-person workforce.

The company subsequently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in early April.

The company also plans to sell its aircraft assets, including converted Boeing 747s cosmic girl Delivery of carrier aircraft to Stratolaunch for $17 million.

Its main launch site will be sold to spacecraft startup Launcher Inc.

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