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SpaceX has made a deal with Google and Fidelity worth $1 billion dollars. The start-up for space exploration founded by Elon Musk announced that it has successfully amassed $1 billion in new investor funding. The investors include Google and Fidelity in addition to previous investors Capricorn, Valor Equity Partners, Founders Fund and Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Google with Fidelity acquired about ten percent equity for their investment in the company.
A recent analysis in the Wall Street Journal concluded that Google was contemplating a very large investment in the corporation, which has been valued at $10 billion. The collective billion dollar investment is in line with Google and Fidelity receiving close to a 10 percent equity . This investment is said to facilitate the Google plan to provide accessible connectivity for the internet on a worldwide scale. The deal will also give SpaceX additional funds to carry on its research in reusability, space transport and satellite production.
Project Loon by Google is trying to increase internet connectivity as well, by utilizing a system of balloons flying at a high altitude. The balloons would form a network that and connect areas that are hard to reach. The SpaceX plan would have some differences as well as commonalities. Their plan would use satellites located higher and traveling faster than the balloons in Google’s plan to eliminate restrictions of land based networks. Google might possibly be interested in going into orbit as well. Google recently purchased Skybox Imaging, a manufacturer of high-resolution imaging small satellites.
Even though the company has made the $1 billion deal with Google and Fidelity, it may take several years to complete designs and develop specialized facilities to manufacture the satellites. Musk does have some key elements already in place. His company makes homegrown flight-control and navigation systems for space vehicles and may supply some satellite components. Synergies also exist among some current SpaceX solar array spacecraft components and components planned for satellites.
SpaceX came about because of Elon Musk’s idea to land green plants on Mars. When Musk searched for usable rockets, he believed that they were either too expensive or too risky and went on to found his very own rocket corporation. SpaceX’s first three rocket launches of its Falcon 1 rocket from an island in the Pacific Ocean were failures.
This past week Musk outlined the company’s plan to launch a large number of small – low orbit satellites to bring access to the internet across the world. Musk in an interview with Business Week projected that the program expenditure would be about 10 billion. SpaceX launches are expensive costing between $65 million and $85 million, with the cost dependant on the required power for the rocket.
The company’s announcement of its billion dollar deal with Google and Fidelity was on the same day that a company located in San Francisco, Planet Labs, stated that it had acquired $95 million to assist the company in selling data and satellite imaging to customers. Planet Labs is a satellite operator started by scientists who formerly worked for NASA and is based in San Francisco.Shareholder Draper Fisher Jurveston is also involved in the most recent round of funding for Planet Labs.
By Gerald Sowell
Photo by Cristobal Alvarado Minic – Flickr License