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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Virgin Orbit Sells Assets Worth over $35 Million as Company Ceases Operations

A liquidation company won a $650,000 bid for Virgin Orbit's office equipment

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Aditya Saikrishna
Aditya Saikrishna
I am 21 years old and an avid Motorsports enthusiast.

UNITED STATES: Satellite launch company Virgin Orbit has agreed to sell critical assets worth more than $35 million to three aerospace companies to recover from financial turmoil.

With the company filing for bankruptcy two months ago, the sale marks the end of operations for the beleaguered California-based company.

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Following a bankruptcy auction held on Monday, aerospace companies Stratolaunch, Rocket Lab, and Launcher emerged as the winning bidders in a weeks-long sale process.

The court’s approval, expected today, will finalise the transactions, allowing the transfer of assets to the respective buyers. Stratolaunch secured Virgin Orbit’s flagship carrier plane, Cosmic Girl, and the necessary assets for its operation with an initial bid of $17 million.

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The modified Boeing 747 was responsible for transporting Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne rocket to high altitudes before releasing it for independent orbital travel.

Stratolaunch’s plans for Cosmic Girl, which may involve utilising it as a boost stage for their hypersonic Talon vehicle, are yet to be publicly announced.

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Rocket Lab, a private spaceflight company specialising in launch services for small satellites, emerged as the winning bidder for Virgin Orbit’s headquarters and manufacturing facility in Long Beach, California.

The $16.1 million deal includes the expansive 144,000-square-foot facility, equipped with essential equipment such as 3D printers and a specialty tank welding machine.

Rocket Lab intends to utilise these assets to advance their new launch vehicle, Neutron, a reusable rocket set to debut in 2024.

Launcher, recently acquired by space station builder Vast Space, secured Virgin Orbit’s test facility in Mojave, California, through a $2.7 million bid.

The purchase includes rocket engine test stands, an aircraft hangar, and associated machinery. Launcher’s parent company aims to build artificial gravity-rotating space stations, with plans to launch their first four-person space station by 2028.

As part of the asset sale, a liquidation company called Inliper won a $650,000 bid to acquire Virgin Orbit’s office equipment.

The distribution of assets among multiple buyers confirms the cessation of operations for Virgin Orbit, whose sale hearing will occur in a Delaware court, where the company initially filed for bankruptcy.

The sale of these assets will allow Virgin Orbit to recoup a portion of its losses and is an opportunity for the buyers to leverage the acquired resources in their ventures.

As the aerospace industry evolves, companies seize opportunities to strengthen their positions and pursue innovative space exploration and satellite deployment solutions.

Also Read: Skyroot Aerospace Successfully Tests Fully 3D-Printed Cryogenic Engine Dhawan-II for 200 Seconds


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