>> It was a lofty ambition, but now Facebook has grounded its plans to build solar-powered drones that can deliver the Internet to remote communities.>> It is our mission to try to help connect everyone around the world.>> Facebook's aim was to develop a fleet of the drones.
With a wing span bigger than a Boeing 737, they would fly for months at a time at 60,000 feet on the same amount of power as 3 hair dryers. The project was led by a Facebook facility in western England, but on Tuesday, Director of Engineering Yael Maguire, he's the one standing on the right, said that facility would close.
The reason? Now that aerospace companies are investing in high altitude aircraft, Facebook has made the decision it doesn't need to design and build such platforms itself. But the social media giant will still work with companies like Airbus to deliver so-called high altitude platform system connectivity more generally. Around 4 billion people, or more than half the world's population do not have access to the Internet.
Facebook said it's continuing to work on next generation technologies to deliver its goal of connectivity for everyone.