Google to build technology facility at NASA research center

Most of the development will consist of office and R&D facilities

Google will develop a new technology facility at NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif, the parties announced.

Under the terms of the 40-year lease, the campus-style setting will contain 1.2 million square feet of office and research and development facilities on 42.2 acres in the research park. The lease could be extended for up to 90 years, according to a Google statement.

Google will pay NASA an initial rent of US$3.66 million per year, although that figure could increase over the years, Google said.

NASA Ames Director S. Pete Worden said the expansion of the research park supports NASA's mission to lead the nation in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research. Google said the long-term agreement was part of its strategy for continued growth in Silicon Valley.

NASA said it will use the money it receives from the lease for maintenance and capital improvements at the site, among other things. NASA said it will retain control over the project during the construction phase, including approving the design, issuing building permits, conducting inspections and monitoring construction.

The construction will be done in three phases. The first phase is set to begin by the end of September 2013, the second phase by 2018 and the third by 2022. Although most of the development will consist of office and R&D facilities, Google also plans to build company housing, dining, sports, fitness, child care, conference and parking facilities for its employees, as well as recreation and parking facilities and infrastructure improvements for NASA.

NASA and Google first began talks regarding this development in 2005. Since that time, the organizations have collaborated on several joint projects, including the Planetary Content project, which develops software to make it easier for the science community to publish planetary data via the Internet.

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