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Vector to Conduct Dedicated Launch of Alba Orbital PocketQube Satellites on First Orbital Attempt

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
March 9, 2018
Filed under , , , , ,

TUCSON, Ariz., March 8, 2018 (Vector PR) — Vector, a nanosatellite launch company comprised of new-space and enterprise software industry veterans from SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, McDonnell Douglas, Boeing, Sea Launch and VMware, today announced it will conduct a dedicated launch of two PocketQube satellites using an Alba Orbital deployer (AlbaPOD) on the Vector-R launch vehicle later this year from the Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska (PSCA) in Kodiak.

Alba Orbital, a manufacturer of PocketQube satellites, will launch the Unicorn-2a satellite platform and a satellite developed by Delft University of Technology, Delfi-PQ1. The launch itself marks a historic moment for both Vector and Alba Orbital as its first orbital launch attempt and the world’s first PocketQube dedicated launch.

“Launch continues to be one of the biggest challenges for our customers, and Vector’s dedicated launch services provide them the ability to lower both risk and the cost associated with it,” said Jim Cantrell, CEO and co-founder of Vector. “The PocketQube movement in the satellite industry is a perfect example of how entrepreneurs are coming together to remove as many barriers as possible for those looking to get to space, which aligns perfectly with Vector’s mission. We are excited to have Alba Orbital onboard as our first orbital customer and excited to be launching the world’s first PocketQube exclusive launch.”

Glasgow, Scotland-based Alba Orbital offers low-cost, turnkey access to space through the development of PocketQube satellites. The advanced 3p PocketQube satellite platform, Unicorn-2, will allow payloads with more demanding requirements to fly on a PocketQube for the very first time, helping to save satellite operators more than 50% on hardware and launch. Delfi-PQ1, developed by Delft University of Technology is focused on further proving the capabilities of space technology miniaturization through a standardized core platform and will be deployed by Alba Orbital in their 6p AlbaPod. By providing enabling platforms, parts and technical expertise to global companies, universities and space agencies, Alba Orbital helps to break down barriers faced by space entrepreneurs.

“At Alba Orbital, we aim to provide our customers with the lowest possible turnkey access to space, and offering dedicated, affordable PocketQube satellites is a significant step in the right direction,” said Tom Walkinshaw, CEO of Alba Orbital. “Working alongside Vector is a natural fit, providing both organizations the ability to deliver on our customers’ needs, and move closer to ubiquitous access to space.”

Vector recently submitted its first launch application to the Federal Aviation Administration to enable orbital launching from the Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska in Kodiak, marking a key milestone toward Vector’s goal of establishing multiple launch facilities throughout the United States and beyond. Throughout this year, Vector plans to test major elements of its Vector-R launch vehicle in advance of its orbital launch.

To learn more about the Vector-R launch vehicle, visit

To find out more about Alba Orbital’s platforms and services, visit

About Vector

Founded by the original founding team of SpaceX, Vector is a disruptive company that connects space startups and innovators with dedicated, affordable and reliable launch services, enabling platforms and vehicles to access space efficiently and in a more optimized way than ever before possible. For more information, visit

About Alba Orbital

Based in Glasgow, Scotland, Alba Orbital wants to get more people building and launching their own satellites. We provide a hub of support for the fledgling class of PocketQube satellites by not only building our own platforms but providing parts and technical expertise to companies, universities and space agencies around the world. PocketQubes are 5cm cubed spacecraft, proposed by Prof Bob Twiggs of Morehead State University (formerly Stanford). The first 4 PocketQubes made orbit on the 21st of November 2013. For more information visit

One response to “Vector to Conduct Dedicated Launch of Alba Orbital PocketQube Satellites on First Orbital Attempt”

  1. Jeff2Space says:

    I wish them luck. Maybe they’ll do better on their first orbital launch attempt than SpaceX did with Falcon 1.

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