NASA’s Moffet Airfield is, among other things, the home and launch pad of private jets owned by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. After having used it for years, Google has signed a deal to lease the airfield and take over operations for the next 60 years.
With plans to invest in the site over and above the cost of the lease, Google intends to create an educational facility open to the public to teach them about the site and local tech advancements in Silicon Valley
NASA announced the deal in a press release published this week. Planetary Ventures LLC, a shell organization operated by Google for real estate deals, will contribute $1.16 billion over the course of the lease. This will reduce maintenance and operation costs by $6.3 million annually.
“Making strides to reduce our footprint here on Earth,” is a priority for NASA as they expand their presence in space, explains Administrator Charles Bolden.
NASA and the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) will continue to own the land, but all operations will be handed over to Google through Planetary Ventures.
Google won the right to negotiate the lease earlier this spring, and the deal was finalized thereafter. One of the agreements of the lease was for Google to “rehabilitate and maintain the historic integrity of Hangar One and the Shenandoah Plaza Historic District.”
Google fully intends to hold true to that promise, as Planetary Ventures will invest more than $200 million into the property. After renovations are complete, Google says they will use the site as the home for their own advances research facilities, focusing on the areas of space exploration, aviation, rover/robotics and other emerging technologies.