Last year Facebook and other tech companies launched Internet.org, a global partnership to make the internet available to the two thirds of the world’s population that doesn’t have it. We believe connecting the world is one of the greatest challenges of our generation, and that everyone deserves access to the knowledge, tools and opportunities that come from being connected.
Today, Mark Zuckerberg announced a team at Facebook that has been working on new technologies to improve and extend internet access. Begun by the same engineering talent behind Facebook’s infrastructure team and the Open Compute Project, the Connectivity Lab team has been working on developing new platforms for connectivity on the ground, in the air and in orbit.
To make these platforms a reality we’ve recently added some of the world’s top experts on aerospace technology including the team from Ascenta, a UK-based company with a deep expertise in designing and building high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) aircraft. The five-member Ascenta team has combined more than 100 years of experience in the aerospace industry including leadership positions with QinetiQ, Boeing, Honeywell and the Harris Corporation. They have worked on noteworthy projects like the Breitling Orbiter and early versions of Zephyr, which became the world's longest flying solar-powered unmanned aircraft.