Google Project Loon Balloon Circles The World In 22 Days

Google has quickly transformed from a search engine to a hub of innovation, crafting everything from Gmail to Google Fiber -- a dedicated ISP. Google's impact is impressive, and one of the most outlandish attempts to change the world seems to be doing just that. Last year, Project Loon was unveiled, which sought to send a balloon up into the air and around the world in an attempt to broadcast Internet down to areas that didn't yet have access via more conventional means.

This week, Google revealed that one of its balloons had completed a lap around the entire globe in 22 days. It sounds like something of science fiction, but it's very real. Here's a snippet from Google about its specific journey: "It enjoyed a few loop-de-loops over the Pacific ocean before heading east on the winds toward Chile and Argentina, and then made its way back around near Australia and New Zealand."

Google is using the path to make future balloons better, with an eventual goal of being able to actually distribute Internet via the air. It has made the pump inside of the balloon more efficient, enabling it to react more quickly to wind changes and stay the course. No specific time lines have been given as to when we could expect a Loon balloon to actually act as an ISP, but it's fairly extraordinary to see Google still pushing in that direction.