Google reportedly wants in on Virgin Galactic's space business

Fresh from its $500 million acquisition of satellite specialist Skybox Imaging, Google appears to be ready to make another space-related investment. Sky News reports that the search giant is in advanced talks to take a minority stake in Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic business (which already counted Skybox Imaging as a potential customer) with a view to getting its internet satellite project off the ground. Google may invest around $30 million into the company, which is set to begin commercial flights to space later this year, forming a joint venture that would see Virgin Galactic offer up its technology in return. Reports suggest Larry Page and co. are already preparing to build 180 small satellites that will be placed into a low orbit to provide internet connections to remote areas of the globe. That, coupled with the acquisition of drone maker Titan Aerospace, suggests Google is steadily moving forward with its space project. Virgin Galactic could provide the thrust, so-to-speak, helping get Google's satellites exactly where they need to be.