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Virgin Orbit halts all operations amid reports of financial struggle

Virgin Orbit has paused all its operations amid reports the company is furloughing almost all of its staff amid an attempt to find a funding lifeline.

The satellite launch company confirmed last Thursday it was putting all work on hold, but it didn’t specify for how long.

“Virgin Orbit is initiating a company-wide operational pause, effective March 16, 2023, and anticipates providing an update on go-forward operations in the coming weeks,” the company said in a statement.

It said the move was “to conserve cash while the company continues to evaluate all available options”. The company didn’t comment on reports that all but a small number of workers will be temporarily put on unpaid furlough.

The California-based company was founded in 2017 by Richard Branson, the British billionaire behind the Virgin Group.

It launches small satellites into space, using its LauncherOne rockets which are fired from the air from modified Virgin passenger planes.

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