Firefly Aerospace has agreed to purchase bankrupt Virgin Orbit’s remaining assets for $3.8 million, marking an end to company founder Richard Branson’s ambitious effort to become a leading provider of satellite launch services.
Mojave, California-based Stratolaunch will use the Boeing 747 that it is acquiring from bankrupt Virgin Orbit to double its fleet of aircraft dedicated to conducting flight tests of hypersonic vehicles, the company said on Thursday (May 25).
Richard Branson’s bankrupt launch provider Virgin Orbit (OTCMKTS: VORBQ), which spent more than $1 billion developing the capability to launch satellites from a Boeing 747 jumbo jet, auctioned off its assets to Rocket Lab, Launcher, Stratolaunch, and a fourth company called INLIPER for just under $36.5 million on Monday, according to a court filing.
Bankrupt launch provider Virgin Orbit (OTCMKTS: VORBQ) has entered into a stalking horse agreement under which it would sell its Boeing 747 Cosmic Girl to Stratolaunch LLC for $17 million if there are no higher offers made for the aircraft.
Virgin Orbit, the now-bankrupt launch provider, announced it has received more than 30 “indications of interest” from parties seeking to acquire part or all of the business. The group includes “multiple parties that proposed to continue to operate the business as a going concern and retain current employees in an integrated enterprise,” the company said in a press release, indicating that a Virgin Orbit sale could close in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, a lien has been placed on the company’s Boeing 747, Cosmic Girl.
J-Space has contracted Virgin Orbit to develop a South Korean launch site plan, paving the path for expanded space markets and new investor opportunities in South Korea and the surrounding region.
LONG BEACH, Calif. and SEOUL, South Korea, August 09, 2022 (Virgin Orbit PR) — Virgin Orbit (Nasdaq: VORB), a leading launch provider, announced today that it has signed an agreement with South Korean investment group J-Space. The agreement will allow the companies to assess candidate spaceport launch sites in South Korea, with the goal of providing satellite launch services from there using Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne System. The cooperative effort is designed to act as a catalyst to the burgeoning Korean small satellite and space solutions market, stimulate local economic growth, and provide the South Korean government with a flexible and responsive launch capability in support of a wide range of mission applications.
Powered by 33 flights of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 booster, the United States leads all nations with 48 launch attempts through the first seven months of the year. The total is three short of the number of U.S. launches attempted last year, and far ahead of the 27 launches conducted by second place China through the end of July. The U.S. has conducted more launches than the 43 flights conducted by the rest of the world combined.
A number of notable flights were conducted. SpaceX launched two Crew Dragons to the International Space Station (ISS), including the first fully privately funded mission to the orbiting laboratory. United Launch Alliance (ULA) launched Boeing’s CST-100 Starship crew vehicle on an automated flight test to ISS, a crucial step before astronauts to fly on the spacecraft. Small satellite launch provider Rocket Lab conducted its first deep-space mission by sending a spacecraft the size of a microwave to the moon.
On Christmas Day 2021, an European Ariane 5 rocket roared off its launch pad in French Guiana with the most expensive payload the booster had ever carried, the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope. The launcher performed perfectly, sending the most powerful space telescope on a journey to its final destination 1.5 million km (900 million miles) from Earth. The launch was so accurate that Webb should have sufficient propellant to perform science operations for much longer than its planned 10-year lifetime.
There was a collective sigh of relief among the European, American and Canadian scientists and engineers involved in the long-delayed program. It was a superb Christmas gift to a world suffering through the second year of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
LONDON (Virgin Orbit PR) — Virgin Orbit’s next satellite launch will take place from the UK, following the success of the “Straight Up” mission, which lifted off from Mojave in California earlier today (2 July 2022).
Science Minister George Freeman and the UK Space Agency welcomed the news that Virgin Orbit has successfully completed its fourth mission from California, and its first night launch.
With this mission complete, Virgin Orbit is on track for launch from Spaceport Cornwall later this year. The UK Space Agency and Cornwall Council are supporting the launch, with Spaceport Cornwall set to create 150 jobs in the local area.
MOJAVE, Calif., July 2, 2022 (Virgin Orbit PR) — Virgin Orbit (Nasdaq: VORB) has confirmed the success of its fourth consecutive satellite launch mission. This launch, named Straight Up, carried seven satellites to Low Earth Orbit for the United States Space Force (USSF), who procured this launch for the Rocket Systems Launch Program, with payloads provided by the Department of Defense Space Test Program (STP). In support of its mission partners, Virgin Orbit has now delivered a total of thirty-three satellites to orbit with 100% mission success.