Google and NASA join forces

Alex Yang, Staff Writer

From this week on, Google will become a bigger part of their Silicon Valley neighborhood.

As Google has grown, the multibillion-dollar company has been working closely with the government organization that is just on the other side of the street from them. Google has now been selected as the preferred company to take over Moffett Federal Airfield in Mountain View, Calif. from the previous owner, The National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA).

Google plans to rebuild Hangar One and restore the two other hangars at Moffett Field.
Google plans to rebuild Hangar One and restore the two other hangars at Moffett Field.

NASA took over Hangar One in 1994, although it has only been in active use for three years since then. NASA discovered toxic lead and asbestos in the hangar in 1997, and it has been restricted to humans ever since.

Despite the leak, NASA announced earlier this week that the control of Hangar One at Moffett Field will soon be turned over to Google’s subsidiary, Planetary Ventures.

In May 2013, NASA started accepting bids for the Moffett lease, and Planetary Ventures was selected as the “preferred lessee,” NASA said.

Freshman Daniel Wehara said, “The transfer of the airfield is a good idea. I don’t think that NASA can do much with the airfield anymore so it is right for them to hand it off to Google, a company with much more potential.”

The lease agreement will take maintenance costs off of NASA, one of NASA’s biggest priorities due to a drop in government funding for the space program.

Over the years, NASA’s funding has dropped to less than 0.5 percent of the federal budget, down from over four percent during the space race in 1972, preventing future space expeditions.

Sophomore Angelo Zhao said, “I think that it is a good idea for Google to take over Moffett Field. Not only will the plan save NASA from the expensive maintenance costs, but it will give a new purpose to the valuable land there. Hopefully Google can use it to their advantage.”

Moffett Field is already a home to the fleet of private jets owned by Google’s executives, but Google also plans to fix up Hangar One, rehabilitate two other Moffett Field hangars, build an on-site educational facility, and even upgrade NASA’s golf course as part of the lease agreement.