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SATLLA-2I Satellite's Concerns

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

Remark: The following thoughts are strictly based on publicly available information on the internet.

We are deeply concerned about the current condition of the SATLLA-2I satellite.

On June 21, 2023, three PocketQube satellites were launched into orbit aboard the ION SCV-011 “Savvy Simon” spacecraft using the AlbaOrbital 6P pod. The satellites are:

  • UNICORN-2I, an Earth observation pico-satellite by Alba Orbital for global artificial light monitoring.

  • SATLLA-2I, Ariel University's PocketQube satellite designed to test optical communications in free space.

  • Istanbul, Hello Space's first PocketQube satellite designed to provide a low-cost IoT data service.

While exploring the SatNOGS website for the other two satellites on AlbaOrbital Pod 1, it became apparent that no messages from these satellites were received either. The lack of communication from the three satellites aboard this pod raises concerns that the issue might have been more widespread than just one satellite's problem. We'd love to receive an update from the operators of these satellites, especially if they have managed to receive messages beyond what's visible on the SatNOGS website.

We analyzed the videos published by D-Orbit and noticed a difference in the deployment of satellites between Pod 1 and Pod 2, although both pods host satellites of the same size (1P, 2P, and 3P).

Our concern arises from the possibility that one of the satellites in Pod 1 was deployed with its solar panel open. This suspicion arises from the fact that the images of Pod 1 show a satellite with a larger surface area than the satellites in Pod 2. Activation of a solar panels should occur only after the satellite has been released into space. This issue strongly suggests that something went wrong during the deployment process, such as heating or some other malfunction.

These differences between the deployment procedures of the two pods and the possible problem with the deployment of the satellite raise significant questions about the cause of the failure. These anomalies require further investigation to understand the possible reasons for the satellites' unfortunate fate.


The photos included are sourced from the internet and are not my own.


Following is a table with photos of the two different launches. Since both pods host satellites of comparable size, we would expect to see identical images in both launches. However, there is a difference between the two launches. Most notably, the image of Pod 1 shows a significantly larger white area than the corresponding image of Pod 2. The solar panels of one of the satellite have ten times the surface area when unfolded.

We're eager to hear your opinion! Feel free to share any information or conclusions you have. Everything is welcome.

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