Los Angeles Times

A new wave of satellites in orbit: Cheap and tiny, with short lifespans

SAN FRANCISCO - It's one of the most recognizable images in aerospace: Highly specialized workers clad in gowns, hair nets and shoe coverings crawl over a one-of-a-kind satellite the size of a school bus. The months-long process is so delicate that even workers' metal rings must be covered with a translucent tape to prevent static transfer.

Contrast that with how things are done at Planet Labs Inc. in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood. Satellites no bigger than a loaf of bread are propped on work benches, tended by technicians wearing simple rubber gloves and light lab coats. Largely using commercially available tech

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times2 min read
Julian Assange, WikiLeaks Founder, Faces 17 More Charges In New US Indictment
WASHINGTON - Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks and a thorn in the side of intelligence agencies, faces 17 additional U.S. criminal charges, according to an indictment released Thursday that adds to his legal challenge as he fights extradition
Los Angeles Times6 min read
Homeless Artist Wants To 'Be The Light' On LA's Skid Row
LOS ANGELES - He keeps his spray paint cans in an old cooler. His acrylic paints and chalk are stashed in a cracked milk crate. They are piled under a blue tarp beside two large dog kennels. A pair of well-trained pit bulls, Big Ugly and Space Ghost,
Los Angeles Times7 min readFashion & Beauty
Reese Cooper Is Designing Tomorrow's Heritage Brand Today
The gritty stretch of Eagle Rock Boulevard with its nondescript industrial buildings, faded signage and acres of chain-link fencing seems an unlikely place to find one of fashion's fastest-rising stars silk-screening T-shirts for strangers in a parki