Journey

From the early days of testing weather balloons, to designing and building custom launch equipment, to providing connectivity to people after natural disasters, Loon has been committed to tackling the challenge of extending Internet access to unconnected communities worldwide.

2011

Testing an idea

Earliest tests start back in 2011, using a weather balloon and basic, off-the-shelf radio parts – the first prototype. The next two years are a process of rapid iteration to prove that balloon-powered internet might just work.
2013

500,000 kilometers traveled

One of our balloons completes a lap around the world in 22 days, and clocks the project’s 500,000th kilometer as it begins its second lap. These learnings lead to major improvements in wind prediction models, balloon trajectory, forecast, and navigation.
2013

First WiFi connection

A sheep farmer in Canterbury, New Zealand is the first person to connect to balloon-powered internet through an internet antenna attached to the roof of his home. Project Loon is revealed to the public, which helps to explain some UFO sightings that were reported after testing around the world.
2014

First LTE connection

A local school in Agua Fria, in the rural outskirts of Campo Maior, Brazil is connected to the internet for the first time, through a balloon launched nearby. This marks Project Loon’s first successful LTE connection.
2014

3 million kilometers traveled

Loon balloons log a significant milestone of traveling 3 million kilometers through the stratosphere, a distance that would get you to the moon and back nearly 4 times. Millions of kilometers of test flights help us to more accurately predict wind patterns at different altitudes, giving us the best chance to keep our balloons where we need them.
2015

Autolauncher scales operations

The team develops a highly customized launch system that can fill, lift, and launch our tennis-court sized balloons in under 30 minutes.
2016

One balloon, 98 days

One of our Latin America flights manages to keep our balloon aloft in Peruvian airspace for a total of 98 days, making nearly 20,000 separate altitude adjustments.
2017

Emergency connectivity in Peru

Working together with Telefonica and the Peruvian Government, Project Loon delivers basic connectivity to tens of thousands of people in flood affected areas across the country. At 20 km up in the stratosphere, Loon balloons can provide connectivity where it’s needed, regardless of what’s happening below.
2017

Helping users in Puerto Rico

Collaborating with the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Aviation Authority, FEMA, AT&T, T-Mobile, and many others, Project Loon provides basic connectivity to 200,000 people in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Project Loon launches balloons from Nevada, using machine learning algorithms to direct them over Puerto Rico.
2018

Loon continues its journey

Project Loon graduates from X to fulfill our mission to connect people everywhere by inventing and integrating audacious technologies.