Alba Orbital and RomSpace from the International Computing High School of Bucharest today announced a rideshare agreement to launch ‘ROM-2’, Romania’s first PocketQube satellite, aboard the upcoming ‘Alba Cluster 7’ mission via SpaceX in Q1 2023.
ROM-2 (Romanian Orbital Mission) is a PocketQube satellite that measures 5x5x5cm and weighs 250g. Nicknamed ‘Space Sparrow’ this tiny satellite is no bigger than a rubik’s cube and is the very first spacecraft of its kind from Romania. Due to their low cost, PocketQubes are paving the way towards space access democratization, opening the doors for smaller organizations to commence their own space research.
Formed by nine students aged 15 to 18 years old, the RomSpace team will come to Glasgow to integrate their tiny satellite at Alba Orbital’s facilities before it’s shipped to SpaceX in preparation for launch in Q1 2023. ROM-2, also know as ‘Space Sparrow’, is an amateur radio satellite carrying an Earth Observation payload with a 2-megapixel camera on board to take images of the earth.
The high-school team decided to build their first PocketQube after the Alba Orbital launch team recommended it as a quick and affordable way to get their first spacecraft in orbit. RomSpace quickly got to work and are on track to deliver Romania’s first pico-satellite on-time for next year’s launch.
“It’s truly inspiring to see these students as young as 15 have the drive and initiative to launch their own spacecraft!” said Alba Orbital CEO & Founder, Tom Walkinshaw. “PocketQubes provide fantastic opportunities for STEM education as the financial barriers to space have been significantly lowered”
“When I started being interested in the nano and pico satellite systems, more than 3 years ago, I knew I had to send one of my own in the near future. I was first impressed with the amount of technology that you can put in these tiny cubes.”, said Filip Buscu, mission leader.
Alba Orbital has had a huge year in 2022 so far, as the Y Combinator backed company successfully deployed another 17 satellites in orbit on two back-to-back missions with launch partners SpaceX and Rocket Lab. Following the company’s $3.4m seed round raise in 2021, Alba has rapidly scaled their launch services and development of their earth observation constellation.
The company provides the most regular and reliable, low-cost launch services for PocketQubes, now having launched more than any organization worldwide.
Alba Orbital (UK, USA, Germany) is the world’s leading PocketQube satellite manufacturer and launch broker. Alba is a vertically integrated NewSpace company ‘democratising access to space’, providing turnkey solutions from advanced pico-satellite platforms, low-cost launch opportunities, and ground station services. Alba has worked with over 30 customers across three continents, including prestigious clients such as Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon University and TU Delft.
As they are passionate about innovation in science, technology and space development, the 9 high school students who make up the RomSpace team wanted to pursue their dreams by developing a truly ambitious project – ROM-2. The first mission of its type in Romania, ROM-2 aims to put its home country on the map when it comes to space exploration. Regarding future objectives, the team plans on continuously improving its projects, so as to one day launch remarkably more complex spacecraft which could potentially travel beyond the borders of Earth’s orbit.