Google’s top three executives – Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt – have offered NASA US$33 million to refurbish its historic Hangar One in the Mountain View area of Silicon Valley.
Hangar One, originally built for the US Navy in the 1930s to house military airships, is one of the largest free-standing structures in the world, covering more than eight acres, and a conspicuous landmark in the Silicon Valley area.
NASA now owns the hangar and at one stage planned to convert it to a space and science centre but put the project on hold with the discovery in 2003 that the structure is leaking toxic chemicals into San Francisco Bay. Following funding cuts, NASA no longer has the money to fix such problems.
Larry, Sergey and Eric’s $33 million offer would presumably help – but it turns out their plan is not entirely altruistic. As part of the deal they want to use two-thirds of Hanger One to park and service their private fleet of eight corporate jets. NASA says it will think about that.