Planetary Ventures, the shell corporation that handles Google’s real estate interests, has signed a 60-year deal to lease NASA’s Moffett Federal Airfield – an airport that has been used to house the private jets of Google executives for years.
Nestled between southern Mountain View and northern Sunnyvale in Moffett Field, California, Moffett Federal Airfield consists of approximately 1,000 acres of land that includes Hangars One, Two and Three, an airfield flight operations building, two runways and a private golf course.
The property will be used for research, development, assembly and testing in the areas of space exploration, aviation, rover / robotics and other emerging technologies according to a press release on the matter.
As per terms of the deal, the search giant will pay $1.16 billion in rent over the lifetime of the contract. What’s more, the lease will save NASA approximately $6.3 million annually in maintenance and operation costs.
Google will also be responsible for refurbishing Hangar One which was built in 1931 and is one of the world’s largest freestanding structures. They’ll also be tasked with rehabilitating Hangar Two, Hangar Three, creating an education facility for the public and operating the airport for public and private use.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said that as the agency expands its presence in space, they are making strides to reduce their footprint here on Earth. Specifically, they want to invest resources in scientific discovery, technology development and space exploration – not in maintaining infrastructure they no longer need.
Google began negotiating terms of the deal with NASA way back in February.