A Google Loon has fallen down from the sky and landed on a wind farm in the Eastern Cape over the weekend.
The Loon, which is similar to a weather balloon, is one of many used during the Loon project in Mozambique a few years back. The Loon belongs to a sister company of Google, Alphabet Inc., and its main aim was to make internet access more affordable in rural countries across the world, one of them being South Africa’s neighbouring country.
Kenya was another country identified by Alphabet Inc., where they launched the project as well.
According to Business Insider, these Loons operate in the stratosphere, some 20km above the ground. They were once intended to form a global mesh network, much like a constellation of communication satellites, only cheaper.
In a blog post on the company’s website, Loon Chief Executive Officer, Alastair Westgarth, announced that the company will be winding down as it wasn’t able to find a low-cost solution to its dream.
Westgarth also said that various Loons will soon be falling from the sky but that they are managing it as far as possible.
"As Loon's services winds down, we will work to safely return our fleet to various landing sites around the world, consistent with established safety and operation procedures. We expect this process of landing all the balloons to take a number of months."
Image credit: iAfrikan