Google will do just about anything to make its presence felt even more to the entire world. The company’s latest ambitious project is about putting up hundreds of satellites in low-Earth orbit which is going to extend internet access to billions of people and it has been revealed that its talks with Virgin Galactic are all part of this new project. It has been months since both these companies have been in discussion and now their negotiation seems to have reached an advanced stage. Some sources have claimed that these discussions are going to result in a deal which is going to have two elements.
Firstly, the search engine giant is going to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into this joint venture and Virgin Galactic on the other hand will be folding in the technology it has developed as part of its efforts to build the world’s first space tourism business. This was the first element so far. The second one deals with Google injecting $30m for a small stake in the Virgin Galactic holding company. But as we have already established that the discussions are still going on, none of this has been finalized so any terms of the agreement can be altered.
The deal is certainly in favor of the Google project but Virgin Galactic is also going to benefit from it because quite recently it has had to defend itself against frequent suggestions that problems with its development will curb its viability. Though we haven’t gotten any firm data on this one, but we are hearing that the company has insisted upon starting flights as early as this year. There is of course reason to worry as well because billionaire rivals such as Elon Musk are busy developing similar projects and it is all about getting the ‘first mover’ advantage here.
However, the excitement is still building up and known celebrities such as Ashton Kutcher, Katy Perry and Sir Richard himself are said to have paid $200,000 (£119,000) to secure seats on the venture’s inaugural flights. Another thing that has gotten our attention is the fact that Google got interested in Virgin Galactic and started its negotiations right after it publicly declared that it was going to Skybox Imaging, which is a start-up satellite venture, for $500m (£297m).
This start-up venture has created its own cheap satellites which can take photographs and videos of the earth with high quality results. Seems like Google is doing everything possible to win the race against other internet rivals and it is going to extend internet access to billions of those who don’t have it at the moment. And it doesn’t care that it has to use balloons, drones and satellites in the process.