Google leasing NASA Moffet Field for drone, space research

This is good news for Bay Area drone research! From Business Week:

Google Inc. has agreed to a $1.2 billion lease of NASA’s Moffett Field airfield in California for 60 years, as the company invests in new technologies such as robotics and aviation.

As part of the deal, Google subsidiary Planetary Ventures LLC will invest more than $200 million in improvements at the site, which is near the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, according to a NASA statement. The facility is slated for research, assembly and testing in the areas of robotics, space exploration, aviation and other technologies, it said.

Google is committing more resources to cutting-edge technologies as it looks for new ventures beyond its core online search services. The Internet search provider has acquired several companies in a robotics effort that was led by Android co-founder Andy Rubin. Last month, Google said Rubin was stepping down and that James Kuffner, a research scientist, would take his position. Other research efforts have included wind power, driverless cars, drones and computerized eyewear.

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Comment by Gary Mortimer on November 10, 2014 at 11:11pm

I thought they had been in there for a while doing up the shed (airships are kept in sheds not hangers is a great way of starting an argument at a bar full of LTA nerds) Its great that they are keeping a bit of history around.

Comment by Andrew Rabbitt on November 10, 2014 at 11:33pm

Coats are kept on hangers.  Aircraft are kept in hangars... ;)

Comment by Doug Walmsley on November 11, 2014 at 4:46am

I used to work there in the 1980's when I was stationed the at Moffett Field NAS.  Very big and very impressive structure!  

Comment by Monroe King on November 11, 2014 at 5:35am

No FAA issues flying indoors that's for sure.

Comment by technicus acityone on November 11, 2014 at 8:06am
Comment by Phill Scott on November 11, 2014 at 4:17pm

ooooo that's a lot of space to play in!  Bet there are some happy people in google today!  Oh! the fun I could have with that much space!

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on November 11, 2014 at 5:01pm

Before anyone gets too excited, remember it currently looks like this. There's a lot of work to be done before it becomes an indoor drone playground:

Comment by Phill Scott on November 11, 2014 at 5:05pm

Ah, some DIY required...

Is this a protected building (in the UK we have listed buildings - Cardington is one such)?  I guess this limits what can happen to the building - will it be given a more modern look or will it be returned to its original state?

Sorry, lots of questions there...

Comment by Andrew Rabbitt on November 11, 2014 at 8:10pm

Isn't that the ideal space for drone development as it is?  It's an indoor free-for-all, as far as the FAA go, but it doesn't cost the gazillions to reclad it.

Comment by Gary Mortimer on November 11, 2014 at 10:07pm

@Phil the sheds at Cardington are bigger than this one, one is restored and the other half way through. MGM use one of them for making movies and the other houses amongst other things the Hybrid Air Vehicle, Blue Bear fly the UAS version from out of the shed so once again UK is ahead ;-)


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