With Google's recent purchases of drone, satellite, and artificial intelligence companies, no one would blame you if you thought the company was planing a world takeover. Well, with the most recent report from Sky News – it looks like the search giant's aspirations may not just be this planet. It looks like Google is in talks to buy a part of Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic, a space travel and "tourism" company.
The deal is still in the works, but the initial report is that Google will spend approximately $30 million for a relatively small stake in the Virgin Galactic holding company. But beyond that small stake, Google will also be investing possibly hundreds of millions of dollars into a joint venture with Virgin Galactic. This investment would give Google access to the technology Virgin has already developed. Thinking about this reasonably, it is easy to see that both companies stand to benefit from this sort of deal – with Google possibly developing better ways to get their satellites into space, and Virgin getting an always helpful cash injection.
Beyond Google's interest in satellites, one is left to wonder whether or not they have other plans in mind with Virgin Galactic. Surely this announcement makes rivals (like SpaceX) a little uneasy, but compared to recent buys from Google, this is a relatively modest chunk of change – though this number could go higher. For now, with limited information, we simply have to accept this news at face value – Google is interested in space. Not surprising. The kicker is whether or not Google is actually interested in space tourism or wants to use the technology Virgin is developing to get to space for other purposes.
Guess we'll have to wait and see what Virgin and Google develop going forward. But Google's movement lately is very exciting, and I think this shows their seriousness in space-based endeavours. I think we'll continue to hear more about this in the near future, and I for one can't wait for a Google Street View of the moon. What do you think of Google's interest in Virgin Galactic? Any ideas as to what projects they may try to tackle going forward? Share your thoughts in the comments below.