In what seems like an altruistic move, Google announced Project Loon back in 2013 which basically saw Google deploy balloons whose goal was to bring internet to as many places as possible. One of the places Google was testing Project Loon was in New Zealand, but unfortunately it looks like one of Google’s balloons caused unnecessary panic when it was mistaken for a crashing plane.
The balloons were being trialed in the lower South Island of New Zealand and when one of the balloons began making its way back to earth, some had mistaken it for a plane that was crashing and alerted the country’s emergency services. A rescue helicopter was dispatched to the location only to find Google’s balloon at the location.
According to Google spokesperson who released a statement to The Wall Street Journal, “Since launching Project Loon in New Zealand last year, we’ve continued to do research flights to improve the technology.” Google has also acknowledged that keeping the balloons in place was difficult due to prevailing winds.
However it looks like in the future, Google could have a better answer in the form of satellites. The company has been rumored to be looking to invest into satellite and have picked up companies like Skybox and are reportedly looking to invest into Virgin Galactic as well.