Google might be getting into the satellite business, as the company confirmed today that it has purchased satellite maker Skybox Imaging for $500 million, reports ABC News.

We first heard rumors that Google was interested in Skybox last month, but the price was reportedly set at around $1 billion. That said, the company stated that the final purchase price may change before the deal passes regulatory approval by the federal government.

Skybox Imaging develops small satellites that can┬árecord highly detailed images and videos of landscapes, and it also provides analytics services to businesses. Google’s interest in the company might have something to do with it wanting to improve its own Google Maps service, and it likely has something to do with the company’s Project Loon plans.

The acquisition also comes months after Google’s purchase of Titan Aerospace.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based startup was founded in 2009 and previously raised $91 million in funding from Asset Management Ventures, CrunchFund, Canaan Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, Khosla Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, and others.

More information:

Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major glob... read more »

Skybox Imaging empowers global businesses to make better decisions with timely, high fidelity imagery and infinite analytics. By combining the power of web technologies and a constellation of high-resolution imaging satellites, Skybox ... read more »

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