2 Jun 2014

Google Launching 180 Satellites for Global Internet Service

By Rich McCormick at The Verge:  

The Wall Street Journal reports that Google is planning to spend more than $1 billion on satellites that will offer internet access worldwide from space. The publication's sources say that Google will begin with 180 small satellites that will orbit the Earth at a lower altitude than most other craft, before possibly expanding the fleet in the future.

Google has been hiring new staff from satellite companies in an effort to get its space internet scheme off the ground. The project is reportedly being run by Greg Wyler, who founded satellite startup O3b Networks. O3b, in whom Google has invested, has been experimenting with 1,500-pound satellites, but people familiar with the project say the devices Google intends to use will weigh less than 250 pounds. The WSJ's sources say the costs for the venture could top $3 billion as Google makes tweaks to the network and revises the number of satellites it needs to offer internet in unconnected parts of the world.

Read the full story at The Verge

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