95. Alba Orbital
The Scottish ‘space burial’ start-up set to launch loved ones’ ashes into orbit
Founder: Tom Walkinson
Founded: July 2011 (launching summer 2013)
When considering the world’s great space-faring nations, Scotland doesn’t exactly spring to mind – yet Tom Walkinson’s Glasgow-based ‘space burial’ service, the first of its kind in Europe, aims to change that. Housed at Scotland’s Entrepreneurial Spark Incubator and with backing from the government’s new Satellite Applications Catapult, Alba Orbital aims to offer a service whereby customers can have their ashes shot into space on board a micro-satellite – something Walkinson calls the ‘gold standard’ of funeral care. The company is currently in discussions with large distributors in the funeral care industry in preparation for its product launch later this year with what will be ‘very competitive pricing’ compared to Celestis, the US equivalent of the service and Alba’s only worldwide competitor.