From License Plates to Microchips: Inmates in the Space Race

Saw this article in Space News:  San Quentin Inmates Building Satellite Hardware for NASA.    In a nutshell NASA's Ames Research Center has contracted with San Quentin to produce Poly Picosatellite Orbial Deployers (PPODs), whcihc are used to mount cubesats on several kinds of launch vehicles and then fling them into orbit at programmed times.  Cubesats are small satellites that are used by government, commercial, and educational organizations for smaller experiments in space.

I think it's a great idea as it gives these people skills they can use when they are released--which indeed was the idea that led to the start of the program.  The article did not say whether this was cheaper labor for NASA, or at least competitive.  I'd hope so.  While I appreciate the humanitarian aspects of the program, we really should be putting space dollars to space.  As long as we're doing both, it's win-win.

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