Richard Branson & Google Shoot for Mars (GOOG)

April 1, 2008 by Douglas A. McIntyre

Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) has recently been under fire from critics over its side-operations in going green and its own space-race.  It isn’t the coolness factor that is the issue, but the falling share prices mixed with the slowing economy and lower click-thru’s on banner ads and AdSense are causing critics to think “Tell them to worry about that other stuff in 2010.”

This morning the company has discussed on its official Google blog the launch Project Virgile.  This is Richard Branson’s Virgin and Google teaming up for the establishment of a permanent human settlement on Mars.   Branson noted in the post, “In the years to come, we’ll be sending up a series of spaceships carrying (along with the supplies and tools needed to build the new colony) what eventually will be hundreds of Mars colonists, or Virgle Pioneers — myself among them.”

Branson also says, “Larry Page, Sergey Brin and I feel strongly that contemporary technology is sufficiently advanced to make such an effort both successful and economical, and that it’s high time that humanity moved beyond Earth and began our great, long journey to explore the stars and establish our first lasting foothold on another world.”

None of this lacks any cool factor.  But this effort is going to be yet another side show as the economy slide and as the stock is under pressure.  This won’t cool any heated words over the distraction over day to day operations.

Jon C. Ogg
April 1, 2008 (is there an April Fool’s joke in play here?)