Google is close to making a major investment in a SpaceX project which would develop satellites to provide low-cost internet across the globe.

The Wall Street Journal, citing a person familiar with the matter, reported that the internet giant is close to investing about $1bn (£660m, €863m) in the Elon Musk company that is engaged in space exploration and related businesses.

The investment would value SpaceX at more than $10bn, according to the newspaper's source.

Musk earlier revealed a concept for SpaceX to launch hundreds of satellites into relatively low orbit to deliver internet access across the globe. The project was expected to cost $10bn and span over at least five years.

A team of about 50 SpaceX employees at its Seattle office are working on the project, according to Musk.

Google has been working hard to take the internet to billions of people, especially in remote regions of the world, so that it may increase the number of people who use its services and generate more revenues.

The company runs a project named loon, which is trying to provide internet across the globe with the help of high-altitude balloons and solar-powered drones. Nevertheless, most people think the idea is crazy.

The possible investment in SpaceX indicates that Google is also considering satellite-based internet services.

Satellite-industry veteran Greg Wyler is also running a similar project through his new venture, OneWeb. The company had secured funding from Richard Branson's Virgin Group and chip company Qualcomm.

Wyler is looking to provide internet services from a constellation of 648 satellites in low-Earth orbit, using a large block of radio spectrum he controls. Wyler estimated the plan would cost as much as $2bn.