This just in from Bigelow Aerospace: the company’s Genesis I satellite shot this view of Los Angeles and the Channel Islands last Friday, when wildfires threatened resort communities on Catalina Island.
You can see the smoke plume emanating from the island at the lower right of the photo. Click to see a bigger view.
Bigelow Aerospace is currently the only NewSpace company in orbit, with another launch planned for later this month. Genesis I and Genesis II are trial balloons–really–for the first commercial space stations. Both the test satellites and the full-scale stations are designed to be inflated from a compressed state when they reach orbit, thus saving space on launch and allowing for larger stations than is possible with conventional rigid designs.