Virgin Orbit will suspend operations beginning Thursday in an apparent effort to shore up its finances.
Almost all employees at the satellite launch company are expected to be furloughed as well.
The move was announced to employees at a meeting on Wednesday, and a further update would be provided next week.
It follows the company’s failure to launch the first satellite mission from British soil in January.
According to a source who attended the event, Chief Executive Dan Hart told staff that the furlough would give Virgin Orbit time to finalise a new investment plan.
The length of the furlough was not specified, but Mr Hart stated that employees would be given more information by the middle of next week.
According to Reuters, Virgin Orbit shares fell 18.8% to 82 cents (72p) in extended trading.
With effect from March 16, 2023, Virgin Orbit is implementing a company-wide operational pause. The business “expects to provide an update on future operations in the coming weeks,” according to a statement.
When asked it did not confirm or deny the furlough.
In the January launch, a Virgin Orbit jumbo jet flew a rocket from Newquay, Cornwall, to high over the Atlantic Ocean.
The rocket started and seemed to be ascending correctly, but then something strange happened.
It was unable to release the satellites it was transporting, and they were lost. The 747-carrier Cosmic Girl made a safe landing back at the base.
The mission was later declared a failure by Virgin Orbit because a rocket fuel filter became dislodged, causing one of the engines to overheat.
The company said in a statement released on Thursday that the investigation into the failure was “nearly complete” and that “We are currently testing and integrating our next production rocket with the necessary modification.
The mission was hailed as a turning point in British space history, bringing about the emergence of a home launch market.
The goal is to transform the country into a global player, from satellite manufacturing to rocket construction and the development of new spaceports.