Inside Planet Labs’ new satellite manufacturing site

Satellite imaging and analytics company Planet is taking the wraps off its new manufacturing space in San Francisco. Founded by ex-NASA employees, Planet is leveraging some of the $183 million in funding it’s amassed to expand. In the basement of a nondescript office building in the middle of Harrison street in San Francisco, Planet is hard at work building low-orbit satellites that take images of our changing planet, and now the aerospace imaging company more room to do so, claiming that the new facility is the most prolific satellite manufacturing spot in the world. 

Inside the new 27,000 square foot manufacturing site are satellite building stations where Planet engineers piece together “doves,” as the machines are called internally. The new site is six times the size of their old factory, and with that new space Planet claims its engineers will produce up to 40 satellites/week. Fluorescent panels illuminate the industrial work stations, and the small satellites sit plugged into their “dove nests.”

Planet says their satellites can be built using only 10 tools

The way Planet builds satellites is different from how NASA or Lockheed Martin does. Planet operates off the idea that instead of building large,

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