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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Google Enters 40 Year Lease With NASA

Google announced yesterday that it has entered a 40 year agreement with NASA to "lease 42.2 acres of unimproved land in NASA Research Park at Ames to construct up to 1.2 million square feet of offices and research and development (R&D) facilities in a campus-style setting". They've even provided this handy Google Maps view of the property if you are interested.

"With this new campus, we will establish a new era of expanded collaboration with Google that will further enhance our Silicon Valley connections," said Ames Director S. Pete Worden. "This major expansion of NASA Research Park supports NASA's mission to lead the nation in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research." The land will mostly be used for office and research and development space but will also feature many of the amenities that Google has become famous for such as "dining, sports, fitness, child care, conference and parking facilities for its employees, as well as recreation and parking facilities and infrastructure improvements for NASA's use."

NASA and Google have begun collaboration on several joint projects since signing a memorandum of understanding in 2005. The fruits of their labors include "The Planetary Content project which develops software that makes it easier for the science community to publish planetary data via the Internet. This project has already provided high-resolution lunar imagery and maps to the Google Moon™ program and resulted in the "NASA" layer in Google Earth."

The lease agreement is said to be worth
$3.66 million per year.