Tag Archives: Google

Google and Facebook cancel satellite plans

The competition cools down? Facebook and Google have both cancelled their plans to build satellite systems to provide global internet access.

It appears Google pulled out earlier this year, while Facebook’s decision was revealed today. Google however remains a partner in Skybox, a space imaging company, as well as O3b, which is trying to provide internet using satellites.

SpaceX confirms Google deal

The competion heats up: SpaceX has confirmed that Google as well as a second investor, Fidelity, have committed $1 billion for the company’s satellite project.

In its blog post, SpaceX wrote that the funding would “support continued innovation in the areas of space transport, reusability, and satellite manufacturing.” But Google’s involvement has led many to believe that the funding will primarily back SpaceX’s new satellite venture, which SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk announced late last week. At the time, Musk gave some indication as to the epic scope of the project that lies ahead. He seeks to create a network of hundreds of satellites that could not only connect people on Earth to the web, but also people on Mars—if and when people get there. The total cost of such an audacious project? $10 billion.

The satellite venture calls for more than 4,000 satellites. The SpaceX announcement suggests that the capital will also be used for other things, however.

Google and SpaceX team-up?

The competition heats up: A news report today claims that Google will invest $1 billion of the $10 billion SpaceX plans to spend to build a space-based internet system.

More here. Whether true or not, this story illustrates the growing buzz for the idea of investing, building, and making money in space. Increasingly, the biggest and most innovative capitalists in the world want a piece of that endless pie.

Use a smart phone? Google knows where you’ve been

If you use a smart phone or tablet, Google is very likely tracking all your movements.

Go to this website with your smart phone and you will see your travels for up to the past month. Which is why I don’t use a smart phone, and my own tablet has as few identification settings activated as possible. This information is no one else’s business, unless I say so.

Is Google negotiating to become an investor in Virgin Galactic?

Is Google negotiating to become an investor in Virgin Galactic?

Several stories today say yes, but neither company is commenting. I suspect that if this is true, it is partly because Branson needs to find more investment capital because of the many delays in getting SpaceShipTwo off the ground.

For half a billion dollars Google has purchased satellite company Skybox Imaging.

The competition heats up: For half a billion dollars Google has purchased satellite company Skybox Imaging.

Google plans to use Skybox’s satellites to make better maps with “up-to-date imagery,” the company said in a statement. “Over time, we also hope that Skybox’s team and technology will be able to help improve Internet access and disaster relief—areas Google has long been interested in.” Skybox has only a single satellite in orbit right now but plans to fly a fleet of them to cover the entire globe at all times. Constantly updated satellite images would be of interest to everyone from agricultural companies and hedge funds to hardware stores. A demonstration earlier this year showed how Skybox satellites could be used to monitor oil reserves from space.

Further details on Google’s proposed 180 satellite constellation for providing internet access worldwide.

Further details on Google’s proposed 180 satellite constellation for providing internet access worldwide.

The more satellites that can be fit on a single rocket, the cheaper it is to send those satellites into space.

For Google’s plan to fit its budget, the company will have to figure out how to pack more capacity into a smaller package. O3b Networks, the satellite start-up backed by Google, is currently working with 1,500-pound satellites that can provide broadband Internet connectivity. O3b’s first four satellites were launched last June from French Guiana atop a Russian-built Soyuz rocket.

Google reportedly wants satellites that weigh just 250 pounds — and is said to be hiring engineers from Space Systems/Loral, a satellite-building company, to work on the project. If Google could use satellites that small for telecommunications, it would be a “radical advance” in the field, Farrar said.

A new Google project proposes to put 180 satellites in orbit to provide worldwide internet access.

The competition heats up: A new Google project proposes to put 180 satellites in orbit to provide worldwide internet access.

The details remain vague, but if this is true, and we have every reason to consider it likely, the demand for launch services just went up significantly, especially since the report says that these Google satellites will orbit “at lower altitudes than traditional satellites.” If that is the case they will have to be replaced more frequently.

Google introduces its first prototype of a completely driverless vehicle.

Google introduces its first prototype of a completely driverless vehicle.

The prototype accommodates for two passengers and is missing quite a few of the features you’d expect to see in a standard car. With no need for a steering wheel, mirrors or braking and accelerating pedals, the car comes fully equipped with special software and sensors that feed information into an onboard computer, which then drives the car.

The story and video are very vague about a lot of important details, such as how much programing was necessary for the vehicle to do the specific test drives shown as well as how the passengers tell the vehicle where to go. Nonetheless, as a prototype this vehicle is quite intriguing.