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Sunday December 16th, 2018 1:00AM

Loon and Wing graduate from Alphabet's 'moonshot factory'

By The Associated Press

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — Two of Alphabet's high-flying startups are leaving the nest.

Loon and Wing are graduating from X, Alphabet's secretive incubator known as the "moonshot factory." Loon aims to deliver internet signals via high-altitude balloons, while Wing builds airborne delivery drones.

By graduating, they are considered full-fledged businesses and will be part of Alphabet's "other bets," aside from the company's main cash cow, Google. They join companies like smart-thermostat maker Nest, health-data firm Verily and self-driving car company Waymo.

Astro Teller, X's captain of moonshots, says on a blog that the two companies now "seem a long way from crazy" after having started as X projects several years ago.

Loon, for instance, provided internet service from the stratosphere to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria devastated the island last year.

___

This story has been corrected to indicate that Loon's devices are high-altitude balloons, not hot-air balloons.

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