Private company launches “largest fleet of satellites in human history” to photograph Earth

Private company launches “largest fleet of satellites in human history” to photograph Earth, by David Martin.

A private company named Planet Labs has put about 300 small satellites into space, enough to take a picture of the entire land mass of the Earth every day. …

Packed with some of the same electronics used in smartphones, they’re built by hand in a nondescript building in downtown San Francisco.

Robbie Schingler: It looks like a warehouse and our engineers here build and operate the largest fleet of satellites in human history.

In comparison, the US has four photo satellites (spy satellites). Their orbits are predictable and easily seen, so adversaries know when and where American spy satellites are looking. They make out objects just four inches across, but cost billions each.