Google and Fidelity Invest $1 Billion in SpaceX

Internet giant Google is betting big on Elon MuskEUs vision to bring satellite Internet to the four corners of the earth. The company, along with Fidelity, has invested $1 billion in Space Exploration Technologies, also known as SpaceX.

SpaceX designs, manufacturers and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. Elon Musk, an engineer, entrepreneur and inventor, founded the company in 2002 to revolutionize space technology with the ultimate goal of paving the way for people to live on other planets.

EUSpace-based applications like imaging satellites can help people more easily access important information, so weEUre excited to support SpaceXEUs growth as it develops new launch technologies,EU said Don Harrison, GoogleEUs vice president for corporate development. Google and Fidelity will own a 10 percent stake in SpaceX. Existing investors include Founders Fund, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Valor Equity Partners and Capricorn.

All About Mars?

This is not GoogleEUs first foray into satellites. In June, Google entered into an agreement to acquire Skybox Imaging for $500 million in cash. The company aims to use SkyboxEUs satellites to help keep Google Maps accurate with up-to-date imagery. Over time, Google is also looking to SkyboxEUs team and technology to help improve Internet access and disaster relief.

But MuskEUs SpaceX kicks it up a few notches. SpaceX has demanded the worldEUs attention for several space-age breakthroughs. For example, it became the only private company ever to return a spacecraft from low-earth orbit in December 2010.

The company also made history in May 2012 when its Dragon spacecraft attached to the International Space Station, exchanged cargo payloads, and returned safely to earth. Since then Dragon has delivered cargo to and from the space station multiple times, providing regular cargo resupply missions for NASA, according to the companyEUs Web site.

Now, SpaceX plans to build and launch 4,000 satellites to low-earth orbit to provide affordable Internet...

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