Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit quickly pausing operations and furloughing most workers

Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit paused all operations and furloughed most workers on Wednesday, about two months after the aerospace firm suffered a mid-flight rocket failure whereas attempting to ship a number of satellites into area, a spokesperson confirmed to Fox Enterprise. 

It is unclear how lengthy the furlough will final. Staff are retaining their advantages and might use paid-time off whereas the corporate comes up with a plan for the long run, which they’re hoping to announce by subsequent week, the spokesperson mentioned. 

Virgin Atlantic Cosmic Girl Boeing 747 Rocket

On this undated photograph offered by Virgin Orbit on Monday, Jan. 9, 2023, Virgin Atlantic Cosmic Woman, a repurposed Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 plane that can carry a rocket, is parked at Spaceport Cornwall, at Cornwall Airport in Newquay, England.  (Virgin Orbit by way of AP / AP Newsroom)

Virgin Orbit, considered one of a number of corporations competing to commercialize the area trade, makes use of a modified Boeing 747 dubbed “Cosmic Woman” to launch a rocket in mid-air, which then carries its payload to orbit. 


The corporate tried to launch 9 satellites from the UK in January, however the LauncherOne rocket failed in some unspecified time in the future throughout the firing of its second stage engine. 

Virgin Orbit

Virgin Orbit makes use of a way referred to as air launch, during which its 70-foot-long, 57,000-pound LauncherOne rocket is launched at an altitude 35,000 ft from beneath the wing of a 747-400 jet plane, dubbed Cosmic Woman, slightly than from a standard launc (Virgin Orbit / Fox Information)

The corporate is continuous its anomaly investigation from the January flight. 

“We count on to have the ability to return to flight as quickly as that investigation has concluded,” a Virgin Orbit spokesperson mentioned Wednesday. “We’re within the closing phases of that… in addition to integrating the adjustments and classes realized from that into our subsequent rocket, which we plan to fly later this yr.”

Ticker Safety Final Change Change %
VORB VIRGIN ORBIT 1.01 -0.05 -4.72%


CNBC initially reported the information of the corporate’s pause in operations on Wednesday. 

Shares of Virgin Orbit inventory are down about 83% over the previous yr. 

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