Virgin Orbit Launches In Disarray, Threatening Richard Branson’s Space Empire


Billionaire Richard Branson’s space empire is receiving a jolt of reality as Virgin Orbit Holdings Inc., the satellite-launching arm, has recently gone bankrupt after running out of funds. This has seen Virgin Galactic Holding Inc.’s stocks and market value, plunge to its lowest level so far this year.

The business maverick has been listed as a prominent figure in the private space industry since the early 2000s. His first journey to the edge of space was with the prototype SpaceShipOne back in 2004, and in 2017 Virgin Orbit was founded as an outgrowth from Virgin Galactic.

Unfortunately, compared to the success of fellow billionaires Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, Branson’s space-oriented business have been largely unsuccessful and unprofitable.This is especially the case for Virgin Orbit, with Virgin’s investment in the company failed due to its burnout of funds and inability to find any more investors. In contrast, Virgin Galactic nonetheless provides confidence in the future of Branson’s space empire with its $957 million market value.

Virgin Galactic is a commercial spaceflight company which provides suborbital spaceflights and other spaceflight services. The company was founded in 2004 and has headquarters in both Las Cruces, New Mexico and Mojave, California. After Branson’s flight aboard the VSS Unity spaceship in 2021, the company’s market value soared to above a whopping $13 billion. This success was not long-lived however, as the Federal Aviation Administration investigated and eventually cleared Virgin Galactic’s operations and launches, but the company chose to take a brief pause as to upgrade its vessels. It is expected however, that Virgin Galactic will resume its commercial flights soon.

Richard Branson is a renowned British business mogul who has a penchant for pushing boundaries and embarking on new ventures. He is the founder of the Virgin Group, a large corporate venture that has investments in many industries. Branson is known for his ambitious entrepreneurships, with his involvement with Virgin Galactic, Virgin Orbit, and many other space-oriented companies are testament to that. Just recently, he put his name to the world’s first commercial spaceport, Spaceport America, in Las Cruces, New Mexico.