Promising small launch vehicle company Vector has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company is in the process of selling its satellite technology to Lockheed Martin with the rest of its assets set to go under the gavel at auction.
Vector filed a voluntary petition for bankruptcy with the United States Bankruptcy Court on December 13. In addition to its parent company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vector, Garvey Spacecraft Corporation was also forced to file for Chapter 11 at the same time.
Since its founding in 2016, Vector space has been regarded as a frontrunner in the race to be one of the first small launch companies to begin launching orbital missions. That all changed in August after the company laid off most of its 150 employees citing a “significant change in financing”.
Vector’s financial troubles began when one of its principal investors, venture fund Sequoia, pulled its support for the company. According to sources, the decision to pull its support was made as a result of concerns Sequoia had with how the company was being managed. With one of its primary sources of funding gone, other Vector investors began to withdraw leaving the company unable to make payroll.
The company is currently operating under “debtor in possession” financing from Lockheed Martin. The financing includes a $500,000 secured loan with an opportunity for Lockheed to purchase Vector’s satellite assets for $2.5 million.
All other assets not associated with the company’s satellite development efforts will either be auctioned off or sold by any “other process designed to maximize value.” As a result, there is a chance that the company will be purchased intact and resurrected to continue its push towards its maiden orbital mission.