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Google Bought a Giant Hangar from NASA to Store Its Robots
Scott Lucas | Photo: Courtesy Quartz | February 13, 2014
Eight acres of space for the company's robotics subsidiary.
Well, at least there's enough space to dry dock the Google Barge now that it's been kicked out of Treasure Island.
Actually there's plenty of space to do almost anything, now that Google has leased an over 1,000-acre airport in Silicon Valley from NASA. Included on the site is an 8-acre building (that's 350,000 square feet) called Hangar One, which when built in 1933 was one of the largest free-standing strucutres in the world, according to Quartz. The hanger was built to house an enormous experimental airship called the USS Macon, which crashed into the Pacific Ocean in 1935. Since then, the building has housed various military and space programs.
In 2011, toxic contamination forced NASA to pull down much of the building, revealing its (supremely cool looking) superstructure. According to the San Jose Mercury, Google will rent three separate hangars and two runways. The tech giant plans to use the facility to house its robotics and space programs. (Take a minute to take stock of what that means: The government agency that used to lead the space race just gave a big building over to a private firm that's poised to take the torch from them.)
Recently, Google has bought up eight robotics companies, including ones that have military contracts. Its CEO Larry Page has also spearheaded an effort to launch spacecraft to mine asteroids. Sort of makes the whole bus thing look like a flea-sized annoyance, doesn't it?