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04 December 2023

Space internet gathers momentum

Google and Fidelity will collectively own just under 10 per cent of Space X. (Shutterstock)

By Joseph George

Tech Giants Google and Fidelity have joined Eton Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) project to provide affordable, high speed internet across the globe and promised $1billion in investment.

The investment immediately transforms Space X into a $10billion firm and will not only give Google – which is currently working on its own Project Loon and and Fidelity 10 per cent stake in Space X, but also a seat on the Space X board.

Space X made the announcement on its website stating that it had raised a billion dollars in a financing round with two new investors, Google and Fidelity. “They join existing investors Founders Fund, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Valor Equity Partners and Capricorn. Google and Fidelity will collectively own just under 10 per cent of the company,” that statement said.

The company that designs, manufactures, and launches some of the world's most advanced rockets and spacecraft said the funding will be used to support continued innovation in the areas of space transport, reusability, and satellite manufacturing.

Google in its statement said that it is excited to support SpaceX's growth as it develops new launch technologies. Apart from Google’s project Loon even Facebook is working on internet.org – a project to make affordable access to basic internet services available to every person in the world.

Last year Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook's Connectivity Lab is doing to build drones, satellites and lasers to deliver the internet to everyone.

“Our team has many of the world's leading experts in aerospace and communications technology, including from NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab and Ames Research Center,” he said adding that he was also joining hands with Ascenta, a small UK-based company whose founders created early versions of Zephyr, which became the world’s longest flying solar-powered unmanned aircraft. “They will join our team working on connectivity aircraft.”

Also read: Internet everywhere – and for free?

(Image via Shutterstock)