Google is being linked with acquiring a stake in Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic space venture.
The internet search giant is set to take a 1% stake in Virgin Galactic for about $30 million and form a space technology joint venture, Sky News reported.
The two groups will also form a company that will hold Virgin’s space technology with Google pumping in hundreds of millions of dollars.
Sky News said that talks over the investment were advanced and would value Virgin Galactic at £1.2 billion. Google’s involvement will add credence to the space tourism project, which was founded a decade ago.
The Virgin Galactic project was originally intended to launch by 2007 but has been beset by delays and is not certain to begin test flights this year, despite public reassurances from Sir Richard.
Tom Hanks, Stephen Hawking and Katy Perry are understood to be among those who have ordered tickets for a flight into space, according to The Times.