Virgin Orbit Shuts Down After Bankruptcy Sales

Bankrupt rocket company Virgin Orbit is shutting down after selling its facility leases and equipment to a trio of aerospace companies in an auction, the company confirmed on Tuesday, CNBC reported. “As Virgin Orbit embarks on this path, the management and employees would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to all stakeholders,” the company said in a statement. Spun out of Virgin Galactic  in 2017 by founder Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Orbit reached rarefied air by flying multiple missions. But difficulty raising funds, and slow execution, brought the once multibillion-dollar company to bankruptcy and ultimately shut down. Monday’s auction bids amount to about $36 million in total. Virgin Orbit’s six or so rockets that were in various stages of manufacturing assembly, and its intellectual property, have yet to be sold, a Virgin Orbit spokesperson confirmed. Rocket Lab successfully bid $16.1 million for the company’s headquarters in Long Beach, Calif., which is about 140,000 square feet, the spokesperson said. Although founded in New Zealand, Rocket Lab was already a neighbor of Virgin Orbit, with a headquarters and facilities in the Long Beach area. Read more.