At the moment there are several companies that are trying to provide Internet for the entire planet Earth, right up to its most remote corners. For example, the company SpaceX wants to distribute the Internet with the help of 12,000 near-earth satellites, and the search giant Google has completely launched the Loon project with balloons. This small idea has already grown into a separate, company of the same name, and recently the aircraft set a record for the continuous distribution of the Internet – it has been in the air for more than 7 months.
The champion was a balloon codenamed P-496. It took off from the island of Puerto Rico on November 18, 2018, and landed in Peru on July 2, 2019. In total, he spent 223 days in the air, which is an absolute record – the previous achievement belonged to a similar balloon, which lasted for 198 days.
Balloon Loon set a record flight duration
During his flight, the P-496 balloon managed to fly around the entire circumference of the Earth, and spent 140 days off the coast of South Africa. In addition to the distribution of the Internet, he watched his position on the earth’s surface – apparently, the company’s employees want to identify deviations and eliminate all errors in future versions of balloons. In the end, these corrections will increase the duration of the flight of all vehicles, and the Internet they distribute will be as stable as possible.
One balloon covers the Internet area of 40 thousand square kilometers. It is noteworthy that Loon is not an Internet provider, but simply provides providers with a tool to deploy their network around the world. Internet balloons are particularly useful during natural disasters, when entire regions are left without communication. The benefits of the Loon project were especially revealing after the earthquake in Peru, when they provided people with communication within 48 hours.