Branson’s rocket dream ends after mission failure.

Sir Richard Branson's rocket company Virgin Orbit has shut down, just months after a major mission failure.

It comes weeks after the firm set up to launch satellites paused operations to try and boost its finances.

It had been selling off items it owns in a bid to survive, including its converted jet Cosmic Girl, and most of its headquarters in California.

In January, its first ever satellite mission in the UK reached space, but fell short of its target orbit.

The mission was billed as a milestone for UK space exploration.

It had been hoped the launch, called Start Me Up after the 1981 Rolling Stones hit, would turn the country into a global player - from manufacturing satellites to building rockets and creating new spaceports.

But the rocket experienced an anomaly which "prematurely ended" the first burn and Sir Richard's space dream was all but over.

Premature shutdown behind rocket launch failure

Two months later the company "paused all operations" in an apparent attempt to shore up its finances and almost all employees were laid off.

It has been a tumultuous period for the Virgin boss.

Earlier this month, Sir Richard told the BBC that he had personally lost around £1.5bn during the pandemic after lockdowns hit his airline and leisure businesses.

Source: www.bbc.com


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