Google and Fidelity invest $1 billion in SpaceX

Google has been showing a keen interest in the Space technologies for a while now and since the last week, the news media was focusing on a possible deal between SpaceX and Google. The deal was confirmed yesterday, Google together with Fidelity, an investment firm have invested $ 1 billion in SpaceX and now own a little less than 10% of the company.(Read: Google and Fidelity invest $1 billion in SpaceX).

SpaceX logo

The investment in SpaceX comes at a time when Elon Musk has been talking about a $ 10 billion project which involves a huge constellation of micro satellites in the low earth orbit that will provide internet to the masses.
“It’s like rebuilding the Internet in space” – Elon Musk on the 4000 micro satellites project (LATimes).
Considering that Google and Facebook are already working on their own “connecting the unconnected to the internet” project utilizing drones, satellites and balloons, the news of the $1 billion investment doesn’t come as a surprise. The investment will assist Google’s plan to bring internet connectivity to the billions that live in remote parts of the world. A commendable yet business motivated project.
Commercialization of the space industry in the USA by NASA follows the model that the European Space Agency has been utilizing for a while now and the interest in funding Space companies like SpaceX augurs well for the immediate future of the industry.

With this investment, Google is hopping on a crowded bandwagon. Last week, Virgin Group, along with Qualcomm, a maker of communications semiconductors, announced they had invested in a constellation of 648 Internet connectivity satellites. Also on Tuesday, Planet Labs, a maker of shoebox-size satellites that offer Earth imagery, announced it had received $95 million in financing. – NYTimes

Although there have been several comments and educated discussions regarding the feasibility and reliability of such a Space based internet connectivity system, it remains to be seen whether SpaceX together with Google pull off yet another “Moon Shot”!

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Digital Globe top satellite images of 2014

For the middle of the week we’ve got for you a visual delight. The top results of DigitalGlobe’ annual Top Satellite Image of the Year contest. The 25 contest images were gathered from the trillions of pixels that were captured last year by constellation of satellites owned by Digital Globe and selected by the company’s employees by popular vote.

As we can read in the brochure:

“The DigitalGlobe constellation collects over one billion km 2
of high-resolution imagery per year — building and refreshing
the most comprehensive and up-to-date high-resolution imagery
library in the world as well as offering tremendous tasking
capacity. You choose the world imagery you need and the
way you need it — online, offline, on your mobile device or
directly into your GIS —and we deliver real-world perspective
you can rely on.”

The winner is picture taken above Alberta, Canada in October 2010:

Digital Globe top satellite images of 2014

Alberta, Canada, October 2014

 

Here are all other remaining images:

Digital Globe top satellite images of 2014

Sinjar, Iraq, September 15, 2014

Digital Globe top satellite images of 2014

Caspian Sea, Kazakhstan, September, 2014

Digital Globe top satellite images of 2014

Everett, Washington, July 26, 2014

Digital Globe top satellite images of 2014

Garden City, Georgia, May 16, 2014

Digital Globe top satellite images of 2014

Gunja, Croatia, May 21, 2014

Digital Globe's top satellite images of 2014

Henan Coal Mine, China, May 29, 2014

Itaipu Dam, Paraguay, March 12, 2014

Itaipu Dam, Paraguay, March 12, 2014

Kiev, Ukraine, February 24, 2014

Kiev, Ukraine, February 24, 2014

Maschen, Germany, August 6, 2014

Maschen, Germany, August 6, 2014

Mount Sinabung, Indonesia, January 23, 2014

Mount Sinabung, Indonesia, January 23, 2014

Nordenskjold Basin, Antarctica, March 12, 2014

Nordenskjold Basin, Antarctica, March 12, 2014

Prirazlomnaya Oil Platform, Russia, June 28, 2014

Prirazlomnaya Oil Platform, Russia, June 28, 2014

Digital Globe top satellite images of 2014

San Diego County, California, May 15, 2014

Digital Globe top satellite images of 2014

Sulaibiya, Kuwait, June 4, 2014


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