The Richard Branson-founded satellite launch firm, Virgin Orbit has paused all its operations and furloughed most of its employees amid financial pressure and a struggle to attract investors.
The announcement comes after the company's failure to send a satellite into space in January, which led to a decline in its operations.
The company's chief executive, Dan Hart, addressed the employees and said that the furlough was intended to buy Virgin Orbit time to finalise a new investment plan to help pull the company out of its financial woes.
Reports from different sources use slightly different language to describe the nature of the pause, some suggesting that all or almost all the staff is furloughed while others mentioned, "almost all" or "nearly all" indicating that a small, skeleton workforce remains.
Virgin Orbit has confirmed that the operations pause will continue for at least a week with only a skeleton staff working.
The session, where the decision was announced, was attended by almost all company staff, and Mr. Hart said that a further update would be provided next week.
Some staff members who attended the meeting told Reuters news agency that the company had failed to secure a much-needed investment after meeting with many potential investors before deciding to furlough the majority of its workforce.
Although reports agree that the furlough was designed to provide Virgin Orbit time to finalise a new investment plan, details of the plan were not shared by the company.
Virgin Orbit is the sibling company of Sir Richard Branson's space tourism venture, Virgin Galactic.
While the latter became public listed last year, Virgin Orbit has remained a private company.
The two firms reportedly have different investors, even though they share a common brand name.
Virgin Orbit will have to fight to gain investment during this pandemic crisis like other companies since the Covid-19 outbreak in March 2020 caused a substantial decline in many markets.
The success of Virgin Orbit's future will depend on its ability to raise new funding in the next few weeks to maintain its growth trajectory.