Google launches giant Internet-beaming balloons

Google-balloonGoogle launches giant balloons over New Zealand’s south Island, carrying computer equipment that can create a high-speed internet infrastructure. Codenamed ‘project loon’, the helium filled balloons carry antennae, computers, batteries and navigational equipment, collecting power from solar panels that dangle below. Each can provide internet coverage over an area of 1200 square kilometres. The project intends to help remote areas across the world access internet coverage.

Wrinkled and skinny at first, the translucent, jellyfish-shaped balloons that Google released this week from a frozen field in the heart of New Zealand’s South Island hardened into shiny pumpkins as they rose into the blue winter skies above Lake Tekapo, passing the first big test of a lofty goal to get the entire planet online.

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