Alba Orbital Plans First Rocket for Scottish Satellite
Scotlandâ€™s Alba Orbital plans for the first rocket launch dedicated to a Scottish satellite.
18:23 22 May 2018
Alba Orbital is set to launch its first rocket dedicated to a Scottish satellite. The satellite, the Unicorn 2A, will be the first Scottish built orbiter that will not piggyback on another launch vehicle. It is set to lift off from a launch site in Alaska later this year aboard an American built Vector-R rocket.
The company says that Unicorn 2A, which is designed to lift small satellites into orbit, will “democratise space” by providing affordable access to orbit. Its founder and chief executive officer, Tom Walkinshaw, says that in space, small is beautiful.
"It costs more than gold per kilogram to launch a satellite into space, and Alba is really focused on keeping it small - and also making it really capable," he said.
"Because there's no point making a small satellite if it's no good."
Unicorn-2A will be used to image the Earth by night. The data will be used to estimate populations, monitor infrastructure or even track the spread of disease. The company plans to launch constellation of satellites to be used for Earth observation, remote sensing and communications.