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See Apple’s massive ‘spaceship’ campus take off in 18 seconds

Up goes Apple HQ
Apple’s so-called “spaceship” campus, officially known as Apple Park, is close to completion, though some workers have already started to move in.

With so much interest in the project, a number of drone enthusiasts have been flying their remotely controlled birds over the sprawling Cupertino complex to capture its development ever since construction work started in 2013.

For something a little bit different, we’re posting a new video (above) shot from way up higher. The high-res imagery comes courtesy of a Planet Labs satellite, which began snapping photos of the campus site in September 2015 (here’s a drone video of the location taken at around the same time). The video condenses the last two years of work at the site into a mere 18 seconds.

Several viewings are needed to take in the myriad of changes that have transformed the 175-acre plot of land over the last 20 months or so, with the doughnut-shaped main building taking center stage.

Also look out for the development of the subterranean, 1,000-seat Steve Jobs Theater at the bottom of the screen, marked about by its ground-level entrance featuring a circular, metallic carbon-fiber roof.

You can just see one of the solar-panel-topped parking garages at the bottom of the picture, too.

With most of the exterior construction work completed, the end of the video reveals the beginnings of the landscaping efforts, but with as many as 7,000 trees expected to be planted throughout the location, it’s clear that there’s still much to be done in that area.

Apple Park, which aims to run entirely on renewable energy, is also home to several fitness centers, dining facilities, a visitor center, and a shiny new R&D facility where Jony Ive and company can dream up new kit.

Over the coming months, Apple’s $5 billion campus will become home to 12,000 of the company’s employees. The site is the work of acclaimed U.K. architect Norman Foster, although the project was the longtime ambition of Steve Jobs, who championed the plan up until his untimely death in 2011.

San Francisco-based Planet Labs launched at the end of 2010 and offers high-res imagery to a range of clients. It recently purchased the Terra Bella satellite network from Google as part of expansion plans to become a leading provider of Earth imagery shot from way up high.

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