Glasgow satellite company closes large contract to launch network of pocket-sized satellites for global connectivity

Tom Walkinshaw (Alba Orbital)

Glasgow-based satellite company Alba Orbital has closed a large multi-launch contract with Turkish space startup Hello Space, to launch four ‘rubik’s-cube-sized’ satellites via Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket. These satellites, called PocketQubes, will be used to enhance global connectivity through the Internet of Things (IoT) following the success of Hello Space’s previous demonstration satellite mission with Alba Orbital named ‘Istanbul’ in 2023. 

Under this new contract, Alba Orbital will deploy four ‘3p’ PocketQubes, each measuring 5 x 5 x 15cm, into space using SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket in NET Q4 2024 and Q1 2025 on behalf of Hello Space. These satellites will orbit the Earth in a Sun Synchronous orbit, contributing to Hello Space’s efforts to expand their commercial IoT network. 

These satellites known as ‘PocketQubes’ are tiny satellites, only 5 centimetres per side and weighing less than 250 grams each. Despite their small size, they’re mighty in capabilities, offering a cost-effective and adaptable platform for various space-based applications. At 25K Euro per launch, these tiny satellites can be flown to space for less than the price of a new car. 

By working with Alba Orbital, Hello Space is leveraging the advantages of PocketQubes to enhance their satellite technology at a reasonable cost. These satellites will help bridge connectivity gaps and improve data transmission worldwide, enabling applications such as environmental monitoring, asset tracking, and communication network improvement through the Internet of Things.

Tom Walkinshaw, CEO of Alba Orbital, said:

“We are thrilled to work alongside Hello Space again and to continue to help them achieve their orbital ambitions. PocketQubes offer unparalleled advantages in terms of cost-effectiveness, versatility, and scalability, making them an ideal platform for driving innovation in satellite technology.”

Muzaffer Duysal, CEO of Hello Space Systems said:

“From the initial consultation to the flawless execution during the Istanbul mission campaign, Alba Orbital showcased exceptional technical competence and efficiency”, said Muzaffer Duysal, CEO of Hello Space Systems. 

“We are delighted to have chosen Alba Orbital as our launch service provider once again, and we look forward to embarking on these new and exciting missions together”.

Minster for Exports Lord Offord said:

“This is more encouraging news for Scotland’s thriving space industry.

“Alba Orbital are leading the way in the production of miniature satellites and this agreement will see their technology being used in many more missions.

“It once again shows the demand around the globe that exists for the amazing products we make here in Scotland.

Alba Orbital is the leading provider of PocketQube satellite launch services, having delivered 41 satellites to orbit to date with launch partners such as SpaceX and Rocket Lab. With a focus on accessibility and reliability, Alba Orbital empowers organisations worldwide to realise their space exploration goals.

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