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

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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 12, 2011 @05:12AM (#38341162)

    I suspect it's a bit more convoluted. The shell company that technically owns the jets and that will be using 2/3rds of the hangar has an odd relationship with NASA, refurbishing old jets, from small fighters to Boeing 767's, and turning them into "science" planes. It's more like this company is subsidizing the government. Sort of.

    That "sort of" is what's intriguing. The jets are being refurbished, thanks to a massive pool of unaudited money, for vague "science" missions. The closest thing that comes to mind is Hughes and his odd relationship with the government: that entanglement produced the Glomar Explorer ostensibly for deep-sea mineral research but really for a CIA program to recover a Soviet submarine. The Google-NASA public-private partnership for "science" or "research" may be a way of hiding expensive and highly experimental espionage programs from auditors by keeping programs off the public books. The flights so far have included "observation" of a returning ESA space vehicle, so they have the capability to monitor signals from an inbound object; maybe also satellites? If you think all this sounds a bit paranoid, consider that Google and the CIA have some similar investment interests [wired.com].

  • wrong (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 12, 2011 @05:30AM (#38341198)

    This is the story of rich google founders using their money to buy the right to fly their planes into Moffet field airport at any hour of the night.

    This company isn't really subsidizing the government at all, basically they are just causing more noise pollution at Moffet field and not paying any of the commercial airport landing/parking fees.

    This is just another example of how rich folks don't pay their fair share of taxes (e.g., SJC landing fees) and don't have to follow the rules of the little guys have to follow (e.g., have to pay a fine for violating the SJC late-night landing curfew used to abate noise for nearby residents).

    How 'bout they offer to pay all the landing fees to SJC that they *would* have had to pay and then pop for the $33M? At least then they wouldn't be acting as tax evaders (guess who has to make up for the fees that they don't pay to SJC airport, the other 99%-ers, yet they tie up the same air-traffic control resources and cause the same late-night noise pollution).

    99%-ers meet your 1%-ers (aka googlers)... Bend-over baby :^(

I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes. -- Dennie van Tassel