If it seems like Google is acquiring everything lately to possibly take over the world, there may be one acquisition that could help one pursuit still gaining scrutiny. Google’s plan to invest in Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic program is one probably full of the usual symbiotic plans Google provides when attempting to help other people. Most business insiders realize Google’s investment in Branson’s space tourism foray is one helping them get satellites into space for their own Internet ventures. And if that ultimately helps bring the Internet to obscure places on earth, how will Google ultimately help Branson’s Virgin Galactic space tourism project?
When it comes to space tourism, there’s still a lot of mystery as to whether Branson’s aircraft is really going to be safe once it goes on its maiden voyage. It’s easy to think of doing space tourism in the abstract until actually making it a reality. I’ve written here before about my doubts on celebrity culture signing up to be Branson’s inaugural space tourism participants and paying a full movie salary just to have the experience.
It still makes you ponder how those celebrities are going to react once they get up there and realize it’s not a picnic. Some of them may panic and may even get sick from the G forces. There’s also been the scrutiny over the worst possible scenario: The official maiden flight fails and it crashes back to earth with dozens of A-list celebrities aboard.
While Virgin Galactic will be doing test flights before taking people aboard, we all know that traveling into space is far from fail safe, even after inspections. With Google’s access to the latest technologies, however, will they provide tools that might ordinarily be overlooked by Virgin?
How Reliable Will Google Be in Space Technology?
You have to hope Google would be sticklers for details when working on space tourism than they have with Google Glass. Considering the stakes with space travel, their technical meddle would presumably help Virgin Galactic, especially in creating aerospace parts that might be more durable than what they’re currently using. 3D printing, for instance, would probably be used now to help create parts that otherwise might be impossible to produce while subsequently providing better safety features.
Google seems to be proving they’re not sloppy on everything as they have been with Google Glass. The latter problem was merely due to releasing something a little too soon before ironing technical issues. And it seems space tourism is on the same track based on how impatient people are becoming in wanting it to become reality sooner rather than later. When you start applying those rushed aspects to space, you have to wonder how those A-list celebrities keep the first flight of Virgin Galactic on their calendar.
Now we’ll have to wait and see if Google detects Virgin Galactic is rushing things and puts everything on hold if things don’t look right. Considering they’ll be using the aircraft to help launch their future satellites, Google has to know that taking your time is paramount in any space endeavors. More than anything, hopefully Google will bring a sense of reality to space travel that Virgin hasn’t given to anyone yet, particularly the celebrities going up first.
If you have to cite anything negative with Google’s involvement, it’s that those experiencing the first rounds of space tourism may have to watch ads on every flight. With Google interested in possibly placing ads within their connected network of technology, the vision of watching a forced ad while experiencing the first space turbulence would lessen the glamor of space tourism in a second.