NASA has decided to hand over the lease to the Moffett Federal Airfield in Silicon Valley to Google in hopes that the company’s subsidiary, Planetary Ventures, will be able to bring the airfield back to life.
Many of the the private jets belonging to Google’s executives are already housed at Moffett Field and Google itself has shown interest in taking over the responsibilities that come with the lease.
Though it has since been decommissioned, the Moffett Federal Airfield had previously been used by the US Government as a naval air station. Once the Navy no longer had use for the area, NASA took it over and has continued to house the Ames Research Center at the airfield.
Google has yet to release information regarding the deal or what Planetary Ventures will be doing at Moffett Field and the two parties, NASA and Google, are still actively negotiating the final parts of the agreement.
Moffett Field had been known in the past primarily because it housed the historic Hangar One, which was used to contain airships but was partially taken down due to the presence of toxic chemicals in the Hangar.
Last year, the U.S. General Services Administration began searching for a company that would be able to take over Moffett Field in order to rehabilitate it as part of a long-term lease agreement. Since Google is a large, local company and it already uses the area for some of its activities, the decision to hand over the lease to Google makes sense.
Hangar One was the landmark of Silicon Valley well before the rise of today’s high tech titans…NASA’s partnership with the private sector will allow the agency to restore this treasure for more efficient use– Dan Tangherlini, administrator, GSA
Even though a member of the private sector is taking over Moffett Field, it will still be used as a home base for the 129th Rescue Wing. Google’s Planetary Ventures and the 129th will occupy the majority of the area once the deal with NASA is finalized.
Planetary Ventures and the 129th Rescue Wing represent the two largest tenants of the installation and will continue to partner with NASA Ames Research Center to retain Moffett’s relevance to the community and the nation as a special use airfield.– GSA
Summary: NASA has awarded Google the lease to Moffett Field. By providing Google with the lease, the US Government hopes that the area will be revitalized.