SpaceX is going from strength to strength

Google buys stake in SpaceX for $1bn

US technology giant Google and Fidellity have invested $1bn into private space firm SpaceX.

Acquiring about 10 per cent of the private space technology firm founded by PayPal inventor Elon Musk, the two companies will join the existing investors Founders Fund, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Valor Equity Partners and Capricorn.

SpaceX, best known as the first private space transportation company to have docked at the International Space Station with its Dragon cargo capsule, said the money raised will go towards innovation in space transportation technology, development of reusability, and satellite manufacturing.

The investment comes days after SpaceX’s CEO Musk announced his vision to launch a massive satellite network to provide direct Internet access to the three billion people around the world who are still unconnected.

Google has been exploring a similar idea using high-altitude helium balloons providing a common ground for the two companies.

Musk’s plan is in direct competition with the OneWeb venture funded last week by Virgin Group’s Sir Richard Branson.

Google has been increasing its presence in the aerospace sector over the past months. In June, it acquired satellite company Skybox Imaging for $500m.

Last month, SpaceX attempted the first controlled landing of its Falcon 9 rocket after a launch towards the International Space Station. However, the test ended with the rocket crashing down on the platform it was supposed to land on after running out of hydraulic fluid used to operate its steerable fins.

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