Pigeons have been an important part of NASA’s space program for decades.
But with the advent of drone technology, the birds have been increasingly taking on new roles as part of a new fleet of small cargo spacecraft.
The latest to jump into the drone business is a startup that hopes to deliver goods by air using balloons, rather than using humans.
The company called Pigeoprocess has raised $1.4 million from Google Ventures and investors like Greylock Partners.
It will use balloons to deliver cargo to the International Space Station in 2020, a goal that has already been accomplished.
The company is also in the process of getting some sort of satellite-to-satellite service up and running.
“We have been building a fleet of PigeoPods to fly up and down the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia, and have been able to fly them with the commercial air traffic services in place,” Pigeotron founder and CEO David Hahn told Business Insider.
“We’ve been able, using our satellites and the GPS tracking system on the aircraft, to get the aircraft into orbit, get it into space, and then fly it back to the ground.”
The company will have to convince NASA to let it fly cargo into orbit.
While the agency is supportive of the idea, it’s unclear how much money it will ask for the service.
Hahn said that the company has not yet reached out to NASA about an initial funding round.
“It’s really a case of going through all the hoops to make sure we can get the necessary approvals to get a business off the ground,” Hahn added.
The goal of the company is to have a fleet that is available for future use.