Facebook has grounded its plans to build solar-powered drones that can deliver the internet to remote communities.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, says: “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 wingpsan bigger than a Boeing 737, they would fly for months at a time at 60,000 feet on the same amount of power as three hairdryers.
The project was led by a Facebook facility in western England.
But on Tuesday (June 26), 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 four billion people – or more than half the world’s population – do not have access to the internet.
Facebook said it is continuing to work on next generation technologies to deliver its goal of connectivity for everyone.