British billionaire Sir Richard Branson’s rocket company Virgin Orbit has permanently ceased operations, just months after a major mission failure.
The company sold its assets for $36m (£29m), just 1% of the $3.7bn valuation ahead of its Nasdaq debut last year.
In March, Virgin Orbit said it would cut 85% of its workforce after failing to secure new investment.
The California-based firm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US in early April.
It came just weeks after the company paused operations in an apparent attempt to shore up its finances.
Earlier this year, a Virgin Orbit rocket failed to complete the first-ever satellite launch from UK soil.
Virgin Orbit’s headquarters rocket factory and equipment were bought by rival firm start-up Rocket Lab for $16.1m.
Its converted Boeing 747 jet, called Cosmic Girl, was sold for $17m to aerospace firm Stratolaunch.
Another space company, Launcher Inc, bought Virgin Orbit’s launch site and lease in the Mojave desert for $2.7m.
Virgin Orbit, which was founded in 2017, never turned a profit as a public company.
It developed rockets to carry small satellites and is part of Sir Richard’s business empire, which includes the airline Virgin Atlantic and space tourism company Virgin Galactic.
In January, Virgin Orbit attempted the first-ever satellite mission launched from UK soil, which ended in failure.
The company’s LauncherOne rocket – which was launched from the Boeing 747 aircraft Cosmic Girl – reached space but fell short of reaching its target orbit.
The mission was billed as a milestone for UK space exploration. It was hoped it would mark a major step forward in fulfilling an ambition to turn the country into a global player – from manufacturing satellites to building rockets and creating new spaceports.