Google may invest in SpaceX for Internet through satellites

Google may invest around US$1 billion in the project

Google may invest about US$1 billion in SpaceX, a company that aims to use satellites to deliver low-cost Internet to underserved regions of the earth, according to reports.

SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches rockets and spacecraft. It bagged a $1.6 billion contract from NASA to fly cargo resupply missions, and eventually manned missions, to the International Space Station.

Its founder and CEO Elon Musk indicated in November in a Twitter message that his company is working on large formations of micro-satellites that will be used to provide Internet access. He had promised an announcement in two to three months.

The investment in SpaceX would value the company at over $10 billion, reported the Wall Street Journal, citing a person familiar with the matter. Tech news blog The Information first reported on a proposed investment by Google in SpaceX, citing people familiar with the talks.

For Google the investment in SpaceX would be in line with its plans to extend Internet access to various parts of the world using technologies like balloons to provide Internet services. By moving with the wind, Google's Project Loon balloons, traveling at about 20 kilometers above the earth's surface in the stratosphere, can be arranged to form one large communications network, according to the company.

Google also acquired in April last year Titan Aerospace in New Mexico, a developer of solar-powered drones and other technologies. It now appears to be focusing on atmospheric satellites and other technology for providing Internet connections in remote areas or helping monitor environmental damage like oil spills and deforestation, according to its website.

The purpose of Google's deal with SpaceX is to support the development of satellites that could beam low-cost Internet around the globe, according to The Information.

Google could not be immediately reached for comment.

Musk has discussed using optical-laser technology in his satellites, reported the Wall Street Journal, citing a person familiar with the matter. But lasers may not be a reliable way to deliver Internet service to Earth, as they don't easily pass through clouds, unlike radio waves. "The company isn't believed to control rights to radio spectrum," the Journal reported.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags popular scienceGoogleSpaceXinternet

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?