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Google partners with France’s Space Agency for Project Loon


Google has partnered a with France’s space agency Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) for assisting with floating hotspots and the agency will in turn help in Project Loon. The space agency has developed a semi-secret lab for analyzing data from tests and for designing next-Gen floating hotspots.cnes-project-loon

Project Loon was started in 2011 and is known for its floating hotspots that can stay in the air for 100 days. Australia’s Telstra partnered with the project recently and the latest partnership with CNES will help Google in further advancing its technology. Google will conduct long-term balloon studies for helping CNES in the study of stratosphere and ozone, which has been engaged in balloon technology research for several years.

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“No single solution can solve a big complex problem,” said Mike Cassidy, Google VP for Project Loon.

Cassidy stated that the project need experts from around the world like CNES and newer technologies would enable internet to reach rural and remote areas. According to Marc Pircher, Toulouse Space Center director, CNES remained skeptical about the partnership when Google wanted to release around 100,000 floating balloons for internet connections and later retrieve after they lose air. However, the agency decided to partner with the company after being impressed with the ideas and the cost reduction of balloons in the long-run.

Project Loon developed by Google’s experimental lab Google X develops and tests various next-Gen products like the floating hotspots that aims at providing internet connections.  The floating hotspots are powered by solar panels and can reach altitudes higher than commercial airlines. The new partnership could benefit Google in Europe as the company could hope some relaxation of laws relating to antitrust scrutiny. Google News was shut down in Spain and there are also issues in the right-to-be-forgotten rule. Google hopes the issues will be sorted out soon with the new partnerships.

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