Google has come a long way from its search engine roots. The technology company, which has grown to offer cloud computing and software services, will soon have a presence in space, as well.
The Internet company will get its own fleet of satellites thanks to a $500 million acquisition of Skybox, a move that will separate Google from other technology companies in a big way, Skybox investor and board member David Cowan told CNBC on Wednesday.
Skybox makes satellites with geospatial imaging sensors, which take high-definition images and movies of earth from outer space. The satellites will certainly boost Google Maps, and allow Google to offer Internet access to remote parts of the world. But Cowan, a partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, thinks that's just the beginning.
"This acquisition by Google is about more than just imaging. It's really about access to space as a platform for deploying information systems," said Cowan on "Squawk on the Street."
To Cowan, the aim of Skybox was to change the way people think about space development. Prior to its first satellite launch in November, the process of launching a satellite was very costly and time consuming. But the Skybox team was able to greatly reduce launch time and trim costs to roughly $9 million.
"Google, with this acquisition, will have absolutely the only team on earth that's been able to demonstrate that it can deploy software systems in space cheaper, better, faster," Cowan said. "This is really a unique asset, and I think that's why Google is making this move."
—By CNBC's Drew Sandholm.
Disclosure: When this story was published, Cowan owned Skybox.