The airspace wars are nigh. On Monday, Google reportedly agreed to buy Titan Aerospace, a company that specializes in high-altitude drones, for an unspecified price tag. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Titan team “will work closely with Google’s Project Loon, which is building large, high-altitude balloons that send Internet signals to areas of the world that are not currently online.”
If the name Titan Aerospace rings a bell, yes, the company is the same New Mexico-based startup that Facebook was looking to buy earlier this year for $60 million. Only that deal may have quietly fallen through: When Facebook announced its Connectivity Lab initiative back in March, it noted that it added “the world’s top experts on aerospace technology,” including the team members from Ascenta, “a UK-based company with a deep expertise in designing and building high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) aircraft.”
In any case, both Google and Facebook now both have the tools they need to continue their race to bring Internet to the third world. The skies are about to get very crowded indeed.