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Alba Orbital
Company typeLimited company
IndustrySatellite Manufacture
Founded5 October 2012[citation needed]
United Kingdom
Key people
Tom Walkinshaw
ProductsPocketqube Platforms and Components
Total assets£90,954

Alba Orbital is a Scottish company that specializes in building PocketQube satellites and Albapod satellite deployment systems. Alba Orbital is the developer and manufacturer of the Unicorn-1[1] and Unicorn-2[2] satellite platforms.


Alba Orbital specializes in designing and building PocketQube satellites. The company has developed two satellite platforms. The Unicorn-1 platform is a 1P (5cm x 5cm x 5cm) PocketQube satellite, while its larger counterpart, Unicorn-2, is a 2P satellite (5cm x 5cm x 10cm).[3]


Alba Orbital is a launch broker and has purchased capacity with several space companies, including SpaceX and Rocket Lab, to launch PocketQube satellites into orbit.[4] The company also hold contracts with the European Space Agency for ARTES.[5] These launches harbor clusters[6] containing space for PocketQubes that are sold to teams wanting to launch pods. Every Alba Orbital flight uses Albapod deployers to release the clusters. These deployers come in two sizes: 6P and 96P.[citation needed] As of December 2023, Alba Orbital has successfully launched seven missions into low Earth orbit, while one mission failed before deployment on the first flight of Orbiter SN1.

Mission Name Date Launch Vehicle Payloads Customers Outcome
Alba Cluster 2 6 December 2019 Electron Hungary ATL-1 BME Success
Spain FossaSat-1 FOSSA Systems
United States NOOR 1A, 1B (Unicorn-2B, 2C) Stara Space
Hungary SMOG-P BME
United States TRSI-1 ACME AtronOmatic
Alba Cluster 3 13 January 2022 Falcon 9 Block 5 Netherlands Delfi-PQ TU Delft Success
Turkey Grizu-263a ZBEU
Argentina MDQube-SAT 1 Innova Space
Alba Cluster 4 Brazil PION-BR1 PION Labs
Israel SATLLA 2A, 2B Ariel University
United States Tartan Artibeus-1 (Unicorn-2TA1) CMU
United Kingdom Unicorn-1 Alba Orbital
United Kingdom Unicorn-2A, 2D, 2E Alba Orbital
Alba Cluster X 2 May 2022 Electron United States MyRadar-1 ACME AtronOmatic Success
United States TRSI 2, 3 ACME AtronOmatic
United Kingdom Unicorn-2F Alba Orbital
Alba Cluster (?) 3 January 2023 Falcon 9 Block 5 / Orbiter United Kingdom Unicorn-2G Alba Orbital Failure[7]
United Kingdom Unicorn-2H Alba Orbital
Alba Cluster 6 12 June 2023 Falcon 9 Block 5 / ION SCV Turkey Istanbul Hello Space Success
Hungary MRC-100 BME
Romania ROM-2 ICHSB
Israel Satlla-2I Ariel University
United Kingdom Unicorn-2I Alba Orbital
Alba Cluster 7 11 November 2023 Falcon 9 Block 5 / ION SCV Spain Hydra-1 / HADES-D Hydra Space / AMSAT EA
Romania ROM-3 FRR
Malaysia SpaceANT-D SpaceIn
United States Tartan Artibeus-2 CMU
United Kingdom Unicorn-2J, 2K Alba Orbital
Alba Cluster 8 1 December 2023 Falcon 9 Block 5 / ION SCV Argentina MDQubesat-1 Innova Space Success
United Kingdom Unicorn-2L, 2M, 2N Alba Orbital


In 2021, Alba Orbital participated in the startup accelerator program Y Combinator, located in Silicon Valley, United States. They raised US$3.4 million after completing the program.[8]

See also


  1. ^ "Unicorn 1". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 22 January 2023.
  2. ^ "Unicorn 2A, 2D, 2E". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 22 January 2023.
  3. ^ Wired. "Alba Orbital: pushing the limits of space development". Wired UK.
  4. ^ "Alba Cluster 3/4 info". Alba Orbital. Retrieved 16 December 2022.
  5. ^ ESA. "ESA ARTES Contractors".
  6. ^ "Scottish satellite firm plans second PocketQube launch mission". The National.
  7. ^ "Orbiter SN1 Mission Update". Launcher. 16 February 2023. Retrieved 17 February 2023.
  8. ^ "Scots firm behind pocket-size satellites takes aim at world record after Silicon Valley funding". 26 August 2021.