Richard Branson’s satellite launch company has filed for bankruptcy protection

Apr 4, 2023 – 11:44 AM

Virgin Orbit, billionaire Richard Branson’s satellite launch company, has filed for bankruptcy protection with US authorities, writes Sky News. Branson owns 75 percent of the company, and it should probably all be sold.

Virgin Orbit has successfully launched 33 satellites into space since its inception, but in the past period they have encountered financial difficulties and have not been able to find additional investors.

The company filed for Article 11 bankruptcy protection, thanks to which the company is not obligated to sell everything, but it is allowed to repack some things so that the business can stay afloat and after a while they can pay creditors. Branson also owns a successful spaceflight company called Virgin Galactic, so there’s a lot that could be shifted from one project to the next. By the way, they announced last week that they’re parting ways with 85 percent of their 750-strong workforce and stopping further work.

The announcement comes shortly after an unexplained anomaly disrupted the launch of Britain’s first satellite in January. The rocket, which was launched from Cornwall, fails to reach space because it did not reach high enough and then crashes into the sea.

Experts estimate Virgin Orbit’s current value at $65 million, which is staggeringly low compared to an estimate of $3 billion two years ago.

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