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Is Google Going Galactic?

Rumours suggest Google and Virgin Galactic are headed off to the skies together

Is Google Going Galactic?© 2018 Flickr - Jeff Foust

Rumours are starting swirl over Google’s latest purchases, which all seem to point to one place: the sky. First there was Project Loon, then there was Titan Aerospace and last week Skybox was added to the bill. But now things have gone one step further, as Google is reportedly about to make another space-related investment, this time with Virgin Galactic.

Richard Branson’s suborbital spaceflight company recently got clearance for US flights, and with Google’s ongoing race with Facebook to provide Internet to billions of people in unwired areas of the globe, the dots all seem to add up. The Wall Street Journal recently reported Google’s plans to spend more than $1 billion on launching 180 satellites into low-orbit space: a suitable budget for a company that planned to invest in Virgin’s high-profile, first commercial space flights. Google’s “small stake” investment is currently valued at a massive $30million which, for only a 1.5% shareholding, values Virgin Galactic at around the $1.2billion mark - despite not having actually launched any of its customers into space yet. But take-off date is looming, and tickets are supposedly selling for about $250,000 and celebrities such as Katy Perry and Ashton Kutcher also apparently on board. Either company are yet to confirm any of the reports but if its true (and we sincerely hope it is), then sit back, hold on tight and prepare for the corporate superpower space race to begin.

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