Google has done a deal with NASA allowing it to lease Moffett Federal Airfield, a vast chunk of land that includes three hangars, two runways, and a golf course.
While NASA will rake in more than a billion dollars in rent and make big savings on maintenance costs over the 60-year lease term, Google will have an enormous space close to its Mountain View headquarters where it intends to work on projects linked to space exploration, aviation, and robotics. A few rounds of golf will no doubt be enjoyed, too.
Planetary Ventures, the Web giant’s real estate arm that signed the deal, has promised to spend $200 million on renovating the property, some of which will go toward the creation of an education facility for the public so they can learn more about the role technology has played in the history of Silicon Valley, and discover the story of the historic airfield, which was constructed in the early 1930s.
NASA and the US General Services Administration, which will retain ownership of the land, selected Planetary Ventures to operate the site back in February, though the deal has only just been inked.
Google company executives, including founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, have for a number of years been using the conveniently located airfield as a base for the tech firm’s fleet of private jets. But with news of the deal with NASA, they’re likely to be making a lot more trips to the base from hereon in.