Public Buzz! Internet Balloon Lands In BVI Waters

BVI Platinum News
January 31, 2021 4:05 pm AST
BVI Platinum News | January 31, 2021 4:05 pm AST
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(Photo Credit: Provided)

Remnants of a satellite had dropped out of orbit and crashed in BVI waters.

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That was one of the first theories that floated following the circulation of photos and videos that showed a piece of sizeable tech equipment being salvaged by Mike Wilson and his team at Husky Salvage.

Others assumed that the equipment was being used to by external intelligence agencies to gather information.

"It's actually a balloon used for internet coverage rather than a satellite. So it’s a weather balloon kind of style but it was providing internet for everybody from Puerto Rico," Wilson told BVI Platinum News.

The equipment is said to be part of Project Loon which was rolled out in Puerto Rico following hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.

Project Loon is a global experiment that uses a network of stratospheric balloons designed to deliver internet connectivity to rural and remote areas worldwide.

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Loon balloons are sail on winds in the stratosphere, extending the reach of telecommunication partner’s networks into areas that are currently unconnected.

Wilson said that the balloon made a controlled landing in BVI waters on Friday, January 29, off the north drop, north of Guana Island.

"Nothing went wrong with the balloon. Usually, they have got a hundred days in the air and then they have to bring them down, so it was a controlled landing. So basically it had done its time," Wilson stated.

He added, "I don't believe that it posed a threat to anyone. It was a controlled landing as they brought it down to ensure it was far from the land, basically, they made sure we were there to catch it when it landed. It was all under control."

It is unclear whether local agencies like the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) were pre-alerted to the planned landing.

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