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Facebook is reportedly looking into acquiring Titan Aerospace, who makes drones, for $60 million.
Purchasing the drone company would help the social media giant with its goal of bringing the Internet to areas in the world that are currently without, according to a source who talked with TechCrunch, who first reported the possibility of the purchase.
Facebook is part of the Internet.org movement that aims to provide the roughly 5 billion people currently living without affordable internet access. Titan would be used to build 11,000 "Solara 60" models of the company's unmanned aerial vehicles that fly very high in the sky and are touted as a cheaper alternative to satellites.
The UAVs are capable of surviving up about 20 kilometers into the air for about five years, using the sun as energy, before needing to come back down. The height that the UAVs would sit at would be beyond the 60,000 feet that in the U.S., the FAA is in charge of. The source claims that if the acquisition goes through, Titan would turn its entire focus to Internet.org.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg previously spoke about the initiative in a white paper, where he notes, "Any plan to make Internet access broadly available will require making significant technology and business model improvements that enable some access to be either very cheap or free for people who can't otherwise afford it."