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Google Wi-Fi balloon crashes, causes power outage

Google Wi-Fi balloon crashes, causes power outage

Google is so big that its name has even become a verb -- "Google it." But just because it's a big corporation, that doesn't mean it can't make mistakes.

In the tech giant's quest to bring Wi-Fi to the world, it has recently hit a small snag. One of the large Wi-Fi balloons used in Project Loon crashed to earth in Harrah, Washington, and got snarled up in power lines during its plummet.

The snafu caused a power outage to nearby homes, but the power was quickly restored.

These Wi-Fi balloons are supposed to orbit above commercial airspace to provide Internet to citizens below. Reportedly, Google notified the Federal Aviation Administration that the balloon was descending the night before to prevent air traffic accidents.

"A website that tracks aircraft flights showed the balloon falling at about 2,000 feet per minute about 11 p.m., according to Robert Smith, a Vancouver, Wash., resident who has tracked several of the devices floating over the Pacific Northwest, just for fun, since he learned about the technology.

According to a Google website, each balloon is equipped with a parachute to slow its descent in case of an unexpected landing. Project technicians try to recover the devices so the electronic parts can be reused, but it remains unknown whether Google staffers drove to Harrah to recover the remains."

Google's Loon Project was originally tested in New Zealand, and has since expanded the operation. You can learn more about Project Loon here.

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