Virgin Orbit blames filter for failed rocket launch

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Virgin Orbit blames filter for failed rocket launch

Virgin Orbit Holdings Inc blamed a dislodged filter for its failed rocket launch in January, and said it was planning a flight later this year as the problem has been fixed.

The satellite launch company, founded by billionaire Richard Branson, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this month as it struggled to secure long-term funding following the failed launch.

The mission using Virgin Orbit's flagship LauncherOne rocket, the first rocket launch into Britain, failed to reach orbit and sent its payload of commercial and defense-related research satellites plunging into the ocean.

Ground test results matched flight data, confirming the dislodging of the filter as the initiation event of the January launch failure, Virgin Orbit said on Wednesday.

A series of nine tests verify the performance of a redesigned filter and its next rocket is scheduled for a flight from Mojave Air and Space Port in California later this year.