Sir Richard Branson is pulling out of the space race with Elon Musk, by one step, to be precise. Virgin Orbit is shutting down. The British billionaire named the reasons.
One of the most famous and wealthy Britons, Sir Richard Branson, the creator of the giant Virgin Group, has announced the suspension of one of his space companies.
Virgin Orbit is suspending operations. The company is looking for an investor
Virgin Orbit, the subsidiary of Richard Branson’s space business that was supposed to send satellites into Earth’s orbit, suspended operations before it made its first launch. After a failed attempt in January of this year, the company ran out of funds.
The company’s management decided to suspend operations and send all employees on vacation. In the message, they were told that this cost reduction would buy time to find willing investors who would recapitalize the company. During the meeting, which took place on March 15, employees also learned that additional information on this matter would not be known until next week.
Exchange responds to Virgin Orbit information
The forced suspension of the company’s activities obviously affected the price of its shares. The decline was almost 19 percent. A share of Virgin Orbit is currently worth just 82 cents.
In a message sent to investors, we read that “Virgin Orbit is planning to suspend the entire company from March 16th. More news on a possible reopening will be provided in the coming weeks.”
“Space Girl” didn’t help
On January 9, Virgin Orbit’s Boeing 747 with the very cinematic name “Space Girl” was due to return to the airport under the sign of an accident.
The specially adapted underwing rocket giant lifted off from Newquay Airport on January 9 to conduct the first ever space rocket launch from the UK.
“It appears that the LauncherOne rocket had an anomaly that prevented us from reaching orbit for the mission,” Christopher Relph, director of engineering and verification systems at Virgin Orbit, said during the livestream. LauncherOne is the name of a rocket that hangs under the wing of a specially adapted Boeing 747. Its launch consists of detaching from the wing at a predetermined height that the plane reaches, and then starting the engine, allowing it to leave the Earth. atmosphere and go into orbit.
Although Space Girl performed flawlessly and the rocket flew into orbit, when the rocket, already out of the atmosphere, was about to restart the engine to enter the intended orbit, a malfunction occurred that prevented the mission from continuing. “We are reviewing the information and data that we have collected,” said Christopher Relph. After the transmission was completed, the company tweeted that the registered anomaly had prevented the rocket from being launched into orbit.
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