Google Helps Obtain Satellite Pictures In Fossett Search

Search-engine leader Google is quietly helping in the search for renowned aviator Steve Fossett.

The Mountain View-based company can request to see fresh satellite pictures taken from space.

That's what happened this week as search-and-rescue teams hunted
for clues that might help them determine what happened to Fossett
after he took off in a plane Monday from a Nevada airstrip without
providing a flight plan.

British billionaire Richard Branson said he and others were coordinating efforts with Google to study whether any of the high-resolution pictures might include Fossett's plane.

Any available images could help searchers figure out the direction of
the plane, a Bellanca Citabria Super Decathlon.

A Google spokeswoman declined to discuss why the company became
involved in the Fossett search.

Branson apparently has a good relationship with Google, having participated in an invitation-only charity event hosted by company co-founder Larry Page earlier this year.