What if massive pumpkin-shaped balloons could bring internet access to rural and remote locations around the planet? Google[x], which also developed Google Glass and Google’s Driverless Car, has a team working on giant, super pressure internet balloons that can float in the stratosphere, creating a communications network that aims to provide consistent internet coverage for areas that would normally be out of range. It’s called Project Loon.

Natalie Hammel and Lorraine Yurshansky of Nat & Lo’s 20% Project went to an old WWII blimp hangar at Moffett Field in California to see Project Loon balloons in person, and to learn more about how the team is developing, testing, popping, and studying the popped remains of these floating ‘towers’ to improve how and how long they perform.

Related reading: Léon Teisserenc de Bort.

In case you missed it: Nat & Lo’s 20% Project – Behind the scenes at Google, plus more videos about the internet and the stratosphere.

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