Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit, a low-Earth orbit small-payload launch company has filed for bankruptcy with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
The bankruptcy filing comes after weeks of halting all operations, a brief search for additional funds to continue as a going concern, and massive layoffs.
Virgin Galactic spun off Virgin Orbit in 2017, as the Branson-backed space company split its efforts into two distinct areas of focus: Galactic would pursue human spaceflight, while Virgin Orbit would target suborbital trips for scientists and wealthy thrill-seekers.
Meanwhile, Orbit was designed to deliver small payloads to low Earth orbit using small rockets launched from the wings of a large carrier ship, a modified 747-400 commercial passenger plane.
According to the filing, Virgin Orbit will consider selling the entire company or its assets to resolve its bankruptcy status.