Four years ago, when Peter Beck and his team at Rocket Lab were starting to build Electron, a low-cost, expendable, small-satellite launcher, Planet Labs was just beginning to experiment with custom-made cubesats for a planned 150-member constellation to take pictures of every location on Earth at least once a day.  There was talk of even bigger networks comprising hundreds or even thousands of small, inexpensive satellites to provide high-speed, cable-like internet and data services ...

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