Virgin Orbit temporarily suspends operations, furloughs staff

Virgin Orbit

Virgin Orbit, the satellite-launching arm of the Virgin Group, Richard Branson’s business empire, is suspending operations for a week while it looks for fresh funds. During this operational pause, all personnel will be placed on unpaid furlough, with payroll also being delayed by a week.  

The firm’s management is expected to provide an update on the financial and operational situation of the company in a week’s time.  

This announcement follows an unsuccessful mission in January 2023, the first carried out from the United Kingdom.  

The LauncherOne rocket, which was launched over the Atlantic Ocean from a specially modified Boeing 747-400, missed the intended orbit and failed with the loss of eight small satellites it was carrying onboard. 

Virgin Orbit’s (Nasdaq: VORB) share price went down immediately following the announcement, losing almost half its value in aftermarket trading and before United States markets open for trading on March 16, 2023.  

Since the company’s listing via SPAC in 2021, Virgin Orbit shares have lost more than 90% of their value. 

Virgin Orbit’s latest available financial report, for Q3 2022, revealed a quarterly loss of $43.6 million for a revenue in the same period of $30.9 million. The company ended that quarter with $71.2 of cash and cash equivalents. 

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