Virgin Orbit Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection Amid Funding Struggles and Job Cuts

Virgin Orbit, the satellite launch company founded by British billionaire Richard Branson, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US after failing to secure the funding needed to continue operating and cut 85% of its staff. The company developed a new launch system that is deployed from under the wing of a modified Boeing 747, rather than standard land-based launches, using a technique known as air launch.[0] Before experiencing its initial setback in January of this year, the corporation commemorated four accomplished endeavors that launched 33 satellites into orbit.[0] However, the last mission suffered a mid-flight failure, with an issue during the launch causing the rocket to not reach orbit and crash into the ocean.[1] Virgin Orbit Holdings filed for bankruptcy after the satellite launch firm failed to secure the funding needed to keep operating. In a Chapter 11 petition filed in Delaware, the company declared assets worth $243 million and total debt of $153.5 million.[2]

0. “Virgin Orbit to lay off 85% of workforce after failing to secure funding” Long Beach Business Journal – Long Beach News, 30 Mar. 2023,

1. “Virgin Orbit files for bankruptcy” Evening Standard, 4 Apr. 2023,

2. “Branson’s Rocket-Launch Firm Virgin Orbit Files for Bankruptcy” Bloomberg, 4 Apr. 2023,