An unmanned, high-altitude balloon owned by Google got tangled in a power line and crashed last week in Washington.
The balloon’s entanglement ended up causing a power outage to some homes in the area, The Seattle Times reports.
Google had reportedly notified the Federal Aviation Administration that one of its balloons was going down. That way, the FAA was able to make sure other aircrafts stayed out of its way.
When Google first launched the project, it deployed 30 of the balloons to fly 12 miles above New Zealand. After seeing positive results from the pilot test, Google deployed additional balloons in the U.S.
The idea behind Project Loon is to bring internet to the parts of the world that don’t have it. Google also has plans to extend its project with high-capacity low-Earth orbiting satellites. In fact, Google reportedly plans to spend more than $US1 billion on a fleet of 180 satellites. That information came shortly after news broke that Google is in advanced talks to buy satellite company Skybox Imaging for $US1 billion.
Given the recent Project Loon crash, it makes sense; Google doesn’t want to put its eggs all in one balloon basket.
“Since launching Project Loon in New Zealand last year, we’ve continued to do research flights to improve the technology,” a Google spokesperson told Business Insider via email. “We coordinate with local air traffic control authorities and have a team dedicated to recovering the balloons when they land.”
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