According to the Wall Street Journal Google is planning to launch as many as 180 small, low-orbit satellites to provide Internet access from outer space. Experts believe the cost of such a project will be in the neighborhood of $1 billion to start and could run as high as $3 billion once the project actually gets underway.
"Internet connectivity significantly improves people's lives. Yet two thirds of the world have no access at all," said a Google spokesman via email. "It's why we're so focused on new technologies-from Project Loon to Titan Aerospace-that have the potential to bring hundreds of millions more people online in the coming years."
Shares of the tech giant were falling sharply, losing 2.1% to $548.06 in early Monday trading in New York.
The space team is reportedly being headed by Greg Wyler founder of Europe's O3b Networks a Google-backed satellite start-up. Recently, Google has been on a hiring spree luring experts from rival satellite companies. Although O3b has been working on devices weighing three-quarters of a ton these new Internet access designs are expected to tip the scales at 250 pounds.
Google had also been reportedly working on even lower orbit Web access designs. The company's Project Loon as previously reported, is undergoing testing balloons to create local networks of high-altitude connectivity.