Internet search giant Google – through its subsidiary Planetary Ventures – has signed a lease to manage US space agency NASA’s Moffett Federal Airfield in California and rehabilitate its historic Hangar One.
NASA is looking to move away from infrastructure it doesn't currently use.
The agency claims the initial 60-year lease will save it over US$6m a year in maintenance costs and provide US$1.16bn in rent over the lifetime of the agreement.
"As NASA expands its presence in space, we are making strides to reduce our footprint here on Earth,” said NASA administrator Charles Bolden.
“We want to invest taxpayer resources in scientific discovery, technology development and space exploration – not in maintaining infrastructure we no longer need. Moffett Field plays an important role in the Bay Area and is poised to continue to do so through this lease arrangement.”
Hangar One has gained significant attention in recent years, acting as an important landmark in Silicon Valley – it currently houses Google’s fleet of executive jets.
“We look forward to rolling up our sleeves to restore the remarkable landmark Hangar One, which for years has been considered one of the most endangered historic sites in the United States,” said David Radcliffe, vice president of real estate and workplace services at Google Inc.
Once renovations are complete, Hangar One will again be home to high-tech innovation as Planetary Ventures begins using the historic facility for research, development, assembly and testing in the areas of space exploration, aviation, rover/robotics and other emerging technologies.
NASA image via Shutterstock