Virgin Orbit, which designs rockets for launching small satellites, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States, the company announced.
Virgin Orbit, which designs rockets for launching small satellites, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States, the company announced Tuesday.
The move comes after the company said last week that it was laying off 675 employees, or 85 per cent of the workforce of the subsidiary of British billionaire Richard Branson's empire.
"While we have made considerable efforts to improve our financial position and secure additional funding, we must do what is best for the company," Virgin Orbit chairman Dan Hart said in a statement.
Its 21-metre rocket launched from a Boeing 747 off the coast of Cornwall in the UK failed to reach orbit in early January, causing the loss of the nine satellites it was carrying and precipitating the downfall of Virgin Orbit.
Founded by Richard Branson in 2017, the company aimed to offer "a new and innovative way to launch satellites" and had managed to put 33 satellites into orbit, according to Dan Hart.
While there are many small launcher projects around the world, only one remains operational at this stage, that of New Zealand's RocketLab.
For more on this story, watch the report in the media player above.