Why it matters: Three aerospace companies, Rocket Lab, Stratolaunch, and Vast, have acquired Virgin Orbit's assets, following its bankruptcy in the U.S.
Key points: Rocket Lab purchased Virgin Orbit's main production facility in Long Beach, California for $16.1 million; Vast, owner of the acquired launch vehicle company Launcher, acquired Virgin Orbit's test site in Mojave, California for $2.7 million. Cosmic Girl, the modified Boeing 747-400 aircraft used to launch satellites, was also up for sale but its fate remains unknown.
Financial Struggles: Virgin Orbit's preliminary estimates indicate it ended 2022 with only $51.2 million in cash and cash equivalents, while competitor Astra reported approximately $102.8 million in cash and marketable securities at the end of the fiscal year (Parabolic Arc).
The bigger picture: The bankruptcy of Virgin Orbit has cast a shadow over Japan's space industry, specifically Oita prefecture's partnership for a horizontal satellite launch spaceport with Virgin Orbit (Reuters).