Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has revealed that one of its internet-broadcasting Loon high-altitude balloons broke the record for stratospheric flight after spending 312 days aloft and traveling 135,000 miles, nearly circumnavigating the globe.
The balloon’s journey, which was detailed Wednesday in a blog post by Loon Chief Technology Officer Salvador Candido, began in Puerto Rico in May 2019 and ended in Baja, Mexico, 10 months later after circlingand then over the Pacific. The previous record of 223 days was also held by a Loon balloon.
Alphabet created the Loon subsidiary to develop balloon technologies that can broadcast an LTE signal in places where cell towers don’t or can’t exist, as well as areas stricken by natural disasters, such as hurricanes, that have knocked out communications infrastructure. Other solutions to such problems have utilized drones or floating buoys to create an instant network.
in Kenya after previously only having been deployed in emergency situations.