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Facebook's Flying Internet Service, Brought to You by Drones

Titan Aerospace Solara 50 aircraft
Titan Aerospace Solara 50 aircraftCourtesy Titan Aerospace

In recent comments about the $19 billion purchase of mobile messaging company WhatsApp, Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said that people shouldn’t expect any new flashy acquisitions in the near future. After spending that kind of money, he said, “you’re probably done for a while.” But reports on Tuesday have the company closing in on a deal that is much less flashy in financial terms but far more so in technological wondrousness.

Facebook is reportedly negotiating an acquisition of Titan Aerospace, a tiny company in New Mexico that is constructing a pilotless, solar-powered plane designed to stay aloft for five years at a stretch. The deal would help bolster Facebook’s Internet.org project, which is intended to expand access to areas that are currently offline. Titan hasn’t responded to a request for comment, and a spokesperson for Facebook said the company doesn’t comment on rumors and speculation.