Sir Richard Branson’s satellite launch firm Virgin Orbit has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US after failing to secure rescue funding.
It comes after a Virgin Orbit rocket failed to complete the first satellite launch from UK soil in January.
On Tuesday, the business lodged a filing with the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware as it seeks a sale of the remaining business.
Last month, the group said it would cut 675 jobs, about 85 per cent of its workforce, as it continued to search for a funding lifeline.
Dan Hart, chief executive officer of Virgin Orbit, said: “The team at Virgin Orbit has developed and brought into operation a new and innovative method of launching satellites into orbit, introducing new technology and managing great challenges and great risks along the way as we proved the system and performed several successful space flights, including successfully launching 33 satellites into their precise orbit.
“While we have taken great efforts to address our financial position and secure additional financing, we ultimately must do what is best for the business.
“We believe that the cutting-edge launch technology that this team has created will have wide appeal to buyers as we continue in the process to sell the company.
“At this stage, we believe that the Chapter 11 process represents the best path forward to identify and finalize an efficient and value-maximizing sale.”