Google has been using NASA’s Moffett Airfield as a home and launch pad for its private jets for several years now, but today, the company announced that it has singed a deal with NASA in which it will lease the airfield for the next 60 years. Google, via its real estate organization Planetary Ventures, will contribute $1.16 billion to the facilities over the lease, reducing NASA’s operation costs by $6.3 million annually.
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Google takes over NASA’s blimp hangar, but likely for exec jets rather than drones or balloons
NASA has announced that Google subsidiary Planetary Ventures has taken over the lease of its massive Hangar One at Moffet Field. While the hangar was built for dirigibles, and Google is working on balloon-based Internet access, the hangar is likely to be used for the more mundane purpose of storing a bunch of executive jets belonging to Google execs. And these planes will likely have pilots unlike the Drones google is also working on.
Wired reports that the landmark hangar has been a problem for NASA since 1997.
NASA took over Hangar One in 1994, but it’s been a thorn in the space agency’s side. In 1997, NASA discovered toxic PCBs in the hangar, and it has been mothballed and off-limits to humans ever since. As part of the lease agreement, Google will not only fix up Hangar One, but it will also rehabilitate two other Moffett Field hangars, build an on-site educational facility, and even upgrade NASA’s golf course.
Google is already building a 1.2 million square foot R&D facility on land leased from NASA, and is working with the agency on testing the world’s first quantum computer.
The hangar can be seen below in its original role.