A Google balloon, part of the company’s high-speed Internet service known as “Project Loon”, crashed in a Sri Lankan tea plantation during its maiden test flight, local police said today.
Villages found the deflated balloon with its electronic equipment in the island’s central tea-growing region of Gampola on Wednesday night, an officer told AFP.
“Tea plantation workers found it crashed in the plantation. They picked up the pieces and brought it to the station,” the officer, who is not authorised to speak with media, told AFP by phone.
- Mumbai’s Haji Ali Dargah Trust to SC: Ready to give women access to sanctum sanctorum
- Samajwadi Party Crisis: 5 Quotes By Mulayam Singh Yadav At Press Conference
- Ae Dil Hai Mushkil Vs Shivaay: What Delhites Pick
- Supreme Court Directs Vijay Mallya To Fully Disclose Foreign Assets In 4 Weeks
- 5 Reasons To Watch Ae Dil Hai Mushkil
- BSP Supremo Mayawati Criticises PM Modi Over Triple Talaq: Here’s What She Said
- Google Pixel XL Phone Review: Pros, Cons And Final Verdict
- Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar Says Army donation Is Voluntary
- Rock On 2 Trailer Launch: Farhan Akhtar, Shraddha Kapoor, Prachi Desai On Their Roles
- Cyrus Mistry’s Career Timeline
- Stalker Kills Woman At Metro Station In Gurgaon: Here’s What Happened
- Bigg Boss 10 October 24 Review: Seven Contestants Nominated For Evictions
- Power Struggle In Mulayam’s Party: Here’s What People Reacted
- 1 Dead, 5 Injured In Low Intensity Explosion In Delhi’s Naya Bazaar Area
- Delhi: Naya Bazar Explosion Cctv Footage
However Sri Lanka’s Information and Communication Technology Agency, which is coordinating the tests with Google, described the landing as controlled and scheduled.
“Google loon balloon safely landed under standard operating procedures in #lka as a part of the test,” ICTA chief Muhunthan Canagey said on Twitter.
The ICTA declined to comment to AFP on details of the landing which had not been previously announced.
The first of three Google balloons entered Sri Lankan air space on Monday after being launched from South America. The launch is part of a planned joint venture between the US Internet giant and Colombo to deliver high-speed Internet access powered by helium-filled balloons.
The government announced earlier this month it would take a 25 percent stake in the joint venture with Google. Sri Lanka is not investing any capital, but will take the stake in return for allocating spectrum for the project.
A further 10 percent of the venture would be offered to existing telephone service providers on the island. It promises to extend coverage and cheaper rates for data services.
The balloons, once in the stratosphere, will be twice as high as commercial airliners and move with the wind using algorithms that tell them where to go. Google has said the balloons will have a lifespan of about 180 days, but can be recycled.
Less than one quarter of Sri Lanka’s more than 20 million-strong population has regular access to the Internet.
Sri Lanka, the first country in South Asia to introduce mobile phones in 1989, was also the first in the region to unveil a 4G network two years ago.