The GSA has approved NASA’s deal with Google subsidiary Planetary Ventures LLC, to reskin Hanger One and assume control of air operations at Moffett Field.
I guess this means Larry, Sergei, and Eric get their garage. At least, us plebes still have our landmark to look at.
NASA’s inspector general is still gunning for Hanger One. Essentially, the IG and NASA HQ are upset with Ames Research Center’s leasing of property to private groups such as Singularity University, Airship Ventures, and the Google Triumvirate, and insist that future leases correspond to “current or future mission[s]”, and to sell any properties that can’t be leased. I believe the IG is referring in particular to the airfield itself.
Not having any particular knowledge beyond what I find in the local papers, but that seems a bit strange. I thought NASA Ames was one of the centers that was researching heavy lift airships for cargo transport to remote areas, and that Hanger One was intended to be used for these airships.
Not content with having an exception to land their party plane at Moffett Field, Google’s triumvirate want a historic landmark for their eight private jets. That’s right. The triumvirate says they’ll pay for restoration, if they get to park their planes.
While I support keeping Hanger One, it just feels to essentially like an an attempt by the ultra rich to indulge their whims on public property. If it was a straight up philanthropic gesture that’s one thing, but this is reeks of a crass move. They (and numerous other Silicon Valley multi-millionares) have wanted to use the NASA field as their own private airfield, and now it looks like they’ve sensed the opportunity to get it. The most depressing part of this whole thing is that this could be the only way to keep the landmark.
Hanger One is being dismantled. Hanger One has been in danger of being torn down for years. It’s walls are contain PCBs. Save Hanger One, has been trying get NASA to reskin the hanger instead of tearing it down. NASA Ames now wants to use it for airship research. Federal funds were finally approved to reskin the hanger, until the House appropriations committee, on recommendation from the NASA Office of the Inspector General, eliminated the $32.8 million to replace the skin. This means PCB walls will be removed, and hanger will probably be torn down.
I say “probably,” because at the last minute the House changed the appropriations bill language to allow NASA to reapply for funds to reskin the hanger in the future. It is supposed to be painted with a sealant to protected it while NASA reapplies for funds.
Personally, I suspect it will be torn down in three years.
The Mountain View Voice cover, is a story about a long shot plan to save Hanger One; have the Smithsonian build another a Air and Space Museum on the west coast.
Look, I love Hanger One. It’s one of my favorite landmarks in the Bay Area. I love that it is a testament to zeppelin aircraft carriers, I was surprised and dismayed to learn that it has been slated for destruction for years now. I’d love to see something come of the place, but asking for the Smithsonian to save it is dumb. It’s the sheer hubris of expecting the national museum to have something outside of the nation’s capital that gets me. Just buy a shuttle and store it there. Bam! Instant museum, and a hell of a lot better than the USS Hornet Museum with its mockups of famous artifacts. (Apollo capsule, I’m looking at you!)
No, Mountain View, you don’t get a Smithsonian, because you’re not Washington, D.C.
via Telstar Logistics