Space company Virgin Orbit lays off 85% of its employees. The mass layoffs come amid the suspension of British billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Group company.

It is reported by
The Verge

Virgin Orbit’s activities were associated with the development of the most accessible ways to launch small satellites into orbit for the sake of rivalry with the companies of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos SpaceX and Blue Origin.

It is noted that recently the startup faced a lack of investment and the search for additional sources of funding to continue operations. A spokesman for Virgin Orbit said that after the company gets rid of 675 employees, only 100 people will remain there.

The reduction should be completed by today, April 3. The costs, including the payment of assistance, will reach $15 million.

It should be noted that since 2020, the company has launched six satellites using its own rocket launch system LauncherOne from a converted Boeing 747 aircraft. Four of them were successful.

Previously, a satellite appeared, the power source for which are conventional AA “finger” batteries. The main purpose of the satellite is to take a step towards solving the problem of space debris thanks to a form factor that allows it to easily get out of orbit.