Alba Orbital

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Alba Orbital
Limited company
Industry Satellite Manufacture
Founded 5 October 2012[citation needed]
Headquarters ,
United Kingdom
Key people
Tom Walkinshaw
Products Pocketqube Platforms and Components
Number of employees
20[citation needed]

Alba Orbital, is a British company building PocketQube satellites. Alba Orbital is the developer and manufacturer of the Unicorn-1 and Unicorn-2 satellite platforms.

The company holds contracts with the European Space Agency. [1]


Alba Orbital builds and designs spacecrafts and consults with those building small satellites. Its Unicorn-1 platform is a 1P picosatellite, and is about the size of a can of Irn-Bru, while its slightly larger Unicorn-2 platform is a 2P satellite that is about the size of a bottle of the same [2]


Alba Orbital is a launch broker[citation needed], and in the last year it has announced partnerships with several space companies, including Vector and Rocket Lab, in order to send PocketQube satellites into space. These launches harbor clusters[3] containing space for PocketQubes that is sold to teams wanting to send a pod along. The first launch had room for 6P worth of PocketQubes, and the second launch will have room for 12P [4]. There are three launches planned for 2020 and onward, with partnerships and pod owners not yet known. The first of these future launches will have room for 18P, while the final two will have room for 96P. All Alba Orbital launches use Albapod deployers in order to release the clusters. These deployers come in two sizes: 6P and 96P. Due to demand for pod space, Alba Orbital has a waiting list. If demand is high enough, launches will increase in size in order to account for those on the waiting list. [5] [6]

See also

  • PocketQube – The satellite format Alba Orbital specialize in building


  1. ^ ESA. "ESA ARTES Contractors".
  2. ^ Wired. "Alba Orbital: pushing the limits of space development".
  3. ^ "Scottish satellite firm plans second PocketQube launch mission". The National.
  4. ^ Alba Orbital. "Launch".
  5. ^ Vector. "Vector to Conduct Dedicated Launch of Alba Orbital PocketQube Satellites on First Orbital Attempt".
  6. ^ Satnews Daily. "Alba Orbital Prepares a Pod for PocketQube Launch".

External links

  • Company website
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