Inmates in California’s notorious San Quentin prison are building hardware for NASA satellites, it was reported Thursday.
Only a select few prisoners build miniature metal casings for the small satellites.
Ariel Wainzinger, who gets out in 10 months, told NBC News: “You come to prison and you think it’s gonna be all gloom and doom, and you find yourself with a lot of different opportunities and you take advantage of it.”
Ariel is one of a few machinists making parts for Poly Picosatellite Orbital Deployers that hold small satellites. They also have to study chemistry, trigonometry, and calculus to create the devices.
But they only make between 35 cents and 85 cents per hour, the report states. Only 27 inmates take part in the program, and shop instructor Richard Saenz said, “They have to be better than the average guy.”
San Quentin State Prison, the oldest detention center in California and which has the state’s only death row facility, is generally reserved for the most notorious or trouble-making prisoners.
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