Google Looks To Space

    January 8, 2007

As reported by Ionut Alex. Chitu, Google is partnering with scientists who are building a giant sky-scanning telescope, hoping to give the public access to digital photos of space, including asteroids, supernovas and distant galaxies.

Google is bringing its expertise in data processing to the table, as well as stature to the $350 million project that could use some publicity to raise public and private funding. The telescope could generate 30 terabytes of data per night, giving Google a lot of work to do.

While the applications for the data for Google are not obvious, we could see the Google Earth software expanded into a sort of “Google Universe”, where the viewport can plumb the depths of space and be an invaluable tool for teaching about astronomy. Still, Google is entering into this partnership the way it does with most of its products:

Officials said there is no clear revenue stream for Google in the project, and said the company also isn’t putting up money to help build the telescope itself.

“There is no licensing, there is no quid pro quo here,” Sweeney said. “There’s no financial incentive to them or to us.”

Google spokesman Jon Murchinson said, “I don’t think we entered into this partnership with an eye on how do we monetize our participation.”



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Nathan Weinberg writes the popular InsideGoogle blog, offering the latest news and insights about Google and search engines.

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