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Google Buying Historic NASA Properties, Including a Giant Blimp Hangar

We are officially scared of you, oh Google Gods.

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Google announced yesterday that as part of their plan for universal domination, Google will be taking over The Moffet Federal Airfield and Hangar One from NASA. Everyone prepare yourself accordingly for the coming totalitarian regime.

With Google subsidiary Planetary Ventures LLC’s latest acquisition of Moffet Airfield and the enormous Hangar One, it seems like Google is developing a bit of a reputation for purchasing unorthodox and ominous storage spaces.

Moffet Federal Airfield does seem like a more logical purchase for Google than their enigmatic “mystery barges,” as the comoaby could always use the eight-acre long Hangar One to house it’s executive jets. However, it’s an interesting PR move when you consider that NASA and Google already have a troubled past; one of Google’s subsidies was accused of buying government-subsidized fuel from NASA, which is generally a no-no, as that fuel is supposed to be used for scientific flights only. NASA called it a “misunderstanding” in a recent statement, which also estimated. that Google execs probably saved 3.3 million to 5.5 million dollars in fuel over the years. In fact, Google still receives discounted taxpayer-subsidized fuel from NASA — but only for scientific-related flights. So more high-profile mingling of these American powerhouses and Silicon Valley neighbors is hardly comforting.

However, the purchase is great news for history buffs.

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When it was built in 1932, Hangar One was an impressive symbol of industry and one of the biggest structures in the world. In fact, it’s so big that fog gathers around the ceiling. After the age of Airships had pretty much ended, NASA purchased the Airfield and Hangar One in 1994, but discovered that lead-based paint was lacing the air inside the hangar with dangerous polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), which was a bit of a deal-breaker for NASA.

In order to remove the hangar of toxins, the Navy stripped it down to a skeletal frame (below). In 2012, Google offered to restore the piece of aviation history for a whopping 33 million dollars, which Gizmodo writer Adam Clark Estes says might have persuaded NASA to agree to the lease.

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As Estes also says, this new deal shows how “NASA is continuing to turn to the private sector for income as its budget gets slashed.”

Hangar One is large enough to house ten football fields (and probably a loooot of Google barges.) Even though the natural assumption is that it will be used for executive’s planes, if there’s another more sinister (and possibly robotic) reason for Google’s purchase then we should all be very afraid. Maybe that’s where they’ll jail the writers of The Internship as punishment?

(via Gizmodo, images via May Wong ,NASA Ames Research Center and GSA)

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