Google has made a move in the science community to further their work in the robotics, space exploration, and aviation fields in the coming years. Google signed a 60-year lease valued at $1.16 billion for the use of an NASA hangar built in 1933.
The company is said to have plans of renovating the three hangars as they need serious and expensive repairs, and then begin using the space to work on their robotics projects for the future.
The company says that it will cost them more than $200 million for the renovations alone, and to refurbish them back to standard. Another addition will be the educational facility, as well as a potential museum to showcase what the company is doing, and the history of the project, company, and Silicon Valley. Planetary Ventures LLC is the subsidiary whose name is on the lease, and will be directly responsible for the happenings on the facility, but ultimately this is Google’s next generation project that is being worked on here.
The company specifically said that the facility, and hangar would be for “research, development, assembly and testing in areas of space exploration, aviation, rover/robotics and other emerging technologies.” Over the last several months, and even years, Google has expressed and shown a thorough interest in these next generation projects, and enhancing research in aviation and space. While Google has remained quiet about the specifics beyond their broad-scale plans, this is a very clear indication that founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin could be pushing further toward enhancing their satellite technology and robotics, since this facility would give them the ideal location to utilize for enhancing this research and executing some of the company’s long-term ambitions.
This deal though will not just be beneficial for Google, as it will save NASA an estimated $6.3 million in annual costs stemming from maintenance and operations. Even local officials are satisfied with the move as they plan to restore much of the facility to its original glory. Another impact of the lease agreement will be renovations that will stop a seeping of toxic material into the San Francisco Bay from the building.
While the move is an expensive one, over the course of the next 60-years Google and NASA should both greatly benefit from the facility’s use.