Virgin Orbit ceases operations, furloughs nearly all staff | Business News

Virgin Orbit is suspending all operations — nearly all employees at the satellite launch company are expected to be furloughed.

The company issued an announcement afterwards First satellite mission from mainland UK fails to reach orbit earlier this year.

CEO Dan Hart told employees at a meeting on Wednesday that the furloughs are for buying virgin track According to one source, it was time to finalize a new investment plan.

The length of the furlough is not yet known. However, Mr Hart said he would update staff by the middle of next week.

Shares in Virgin Orbit plunged nearly 19 percent to 82 cents (72p) in extended trade following the announcement.

The company has been A $3.2 billion “blank check deal” Let the satellite launch company list on the US stock market in 2021.

but Failed launch on January 9 severe blow to the business.

Mr Hart said the company would “cautiously launch” its next rocket after the first mission failed due to a fuel error in the rocket.

An investigation into the mission failure was launched from the Spaceport Cornwall station at Newquay Airport.

“Operationally, our investigation is nearing completion and our next production rocket with the necessary modifications is in the final stages of integration and testing,” Branson’s company said in a statement.

A man in an alien costume poses for photographers during a spectator event for Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne's first UK launch at Newquay, Cornwall Airport, Newquay, England, January 9, 2023. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
A man in an alien costume poses for a photo during a launch audience event

“Premature Closing”

The highly anticipated launch led to disappointment after the rocket failed to deploy its payload of nine satellites.

The beginning of the mission went as planned, with a modified Boeing 747 called Cosmic Girl flying 35,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean off the southern coast of Ireland.

From there, it deployed a 21-meter rocket called LauncherOne containing small satellites – which will be the first to be launched into orbit from Western Europe.

But organizers discovered an “anomaly” that led to the “premature closure”.

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The craft “successfully performed pre-flight preparations, carrier aircraft takeoffs, captive-carrying flights and rocket launches” – all “firsts of its kind” for Western European orbital launch attempts.

However, the rocket malfunctioned late and fell back to Earth, landing in an “approved safe corridor” in the Atlantic Ocean.

Mr Hart described the mission failure as “distressing for all involved”.

Sky News has contacted Virgin Orbit for further comment.

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