Google Sets its Sights on the Stars With Possible Virgin Galactic Stake

By Gerald Lynch on at

It's already got a swarm of satellites, and now it wants some spacecraft (or at least the technology behind them) to go with it: Google is said to be purchasing a stake in space tourism company Virgin Galactic.

The deal would include two components, the first seeing Google offering up hundreds of millions of dollars into a joint venture, with Virgin Galactic opening up its technology to the search giants, while the second would see Google spending about $30 million (£17.8 million) for a small stake in the Virgin Galactic holding company. With Virgin Galactic valued at as much as £1.2 billion, that would represent around a 1.5 per cent shareholding for Google.

So, what's in it for Google, aside presumably for some free trips to space for Brin and Page? Along with the Skybox purchase, it's thought that Virgin Galactic has access to technologies that could help make Google's dream of a worldwide satellite internet network a reality. And with worldwide web access would come a whole bunch of new Google users for the company to serve ads to and make money from. [Sky News]