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Google to take over massive NASA hangar

  • 14 February 2014
  • Written by 
  • Published in Deals

Google could be on the verge of using a historic US navy hangar to test robots, if a deal with NASA proves successful.

The US General Services Administration (GSA) along with NASA have selected Google subsidiary Planetary Ventures to revitalise the iconic Hangar One, built in the 1930s to house U.S Navy blimps, in a move that will give Google room to road-test some robots.

Hangar One was described by GSA administrator Dan Tangherlini as "the landmark of Silicon Valley well before the rise of today's tech titans," and currently houses a fleet of private jets, including those owned by Google executives Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt.

Since 2007, Google had a contract to rent space at Moffett Airfield, and has now signed a fresh agreement after NASA opened the lease up for bids last year.

"At NASA we're not only committed to exploring our solar system, but also making sure we're spending tax dollars wisely," administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement. "That's why we've been so aggressive at making surplus or under-utilised property available to the private sector or other government partners."

Bolden said the deal will allow NASA to refocus resources and time on its core missions, while still protecting the federal need to use Moffett Field as a limited-use airfield.

"Naming a lessee is a testament to GSA's commitment to providing the best value for the agency's federal partners and the American people," GSA administrator Dan Tangherlini said.

"NASA's partnership with the private sector will allow the agency to restore this treasure for more efficient use."

"This decision ... represents a tremendously effective partnership between NASA and our sister agency GSA, and we're grateful for their leadership in this endeavor," Bolden said.

Google, too, was pleased with the decision.

"We are delighted to move ahead in the selection process and we look forward to working with both GSA and NASA to preserve the heritage of Moffett Federal Airfield," a spokesperson said in a statement.

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