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Google Founder Offer $33M For Use of NASA Airship Hangar 86

Posted by samzenpus
from the picking-up-the-check dept.
theodp writes "The Mercury News reports that NASA is considering an offer from Google's billionaire founders to provide '100 percent' funding to save Hangar One. Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt have, through a company they control, proposed paying the full $33 million cost of revamping Hangar One, once home to the Navy's giant airships at Moffett Field, in return for use up to two-thirds of the floor space of the hangar to house their fleet of eight private jets. In October, the Googlers struck an agreement with NASA Ames calling for the use of their 'co-located' Alpha fighter jet to, among other things, help NASA mitigate wildfires and study global warming."
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Google Founder Offer $33M For Use of NASA Airship Hangar

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  • Re:Unmentioned (Score:5, Informative)

    by riverat1 (1048260) on Monday December 12, 2011 @04:08AM (#38341150)

    The Navy no longer has any airships. The hangar is left over from WWII when they used blimps to patrol off the coast for Japanese submarines.

  • by theodp (442580) on Monday December 12, 2011 @04:09AM (#38341152)

    For the Highest Fliers, New Scrutiny [wsj.com]: Messrs. Page and Brin, the Google co-founders, operate at least four aircraft registered under various companies that aren't connected to Google, FAA and other aviation records show: a Boeing 767, a Boeing 757, plus two Gulfstream G-V's. During the four-year period, the jets' most frequent destinations outside of their northern California base were Los Angeles, New York and Washington. For last year's eclipse-viewing journey, the 767 and a Gulfstream V each made two round-trips from the U.S. mainland to Tahiti. Those flights used an estimated 52,000 gallons of aviation fuel and in total cost upwards of $430,000, according to calculations by Conklin & de Decker Aviation Information. The research firm is hired by some public companies to provide aircraft-cost estimates for regulatory filings. A Google spokeswoman confirmed that the Tahiti journey was for the eclipse, saying the pair brought a group with them on the planes. Messrs. Page and Brin have mitigated the greenhouse gas emissions from their aircraft usage by purchasing an even greater amount of carbon offsets, she said. They also frequently lend their planes for philanthropic and scientific missions.

  • Re:Unmentioned (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 12, 2011 @04:28AM (#38341194)

    The smaller hangers to the east of the runways were for blimps. Hanger One was built for the USS Macon, a rigid airship that was lost in 1935. It's a magnificent, incredibly large building, that is even more incredible when you realize that it was filled up by one object that flew.

    The US Navy does own some lighter than air craft, including the MZ-3A which is a blimp. But, hey... it mostly floats.

  • Re:Unmentioned (Score:5, Informative)

    by 4way (519502) on Monday December 12, 2011 @05:33AM (#38341374) Homepage
    True; when you have the chance visit the museum [moffettfieldmuseum.org] right around the corner. Take one of the Docent tours, ours was great, they have tons of stuff to show.
  • Re:Must be nice (Score:3, Informative)

    by EmagGeek (574360) <<gterich> <at> <aol.com>> on Monday December 12, 2011 @06:18AM (#38341500) Journal

    That's not that much to spend for the cost savings of having a consolidated location for the fleet. This will significantly decrease the cost of maintenance and upkeep, and if I had to guess, will pay for itself in a very short time.

    I went through this same thing on a smaller scale last year when I was finally able to get a large hanger at one airport as opposed to three single hangars at two different airports. Now I only have one hangar bill, one mechanic, and keeping track of everything is much easier.

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