MOUNTAIN VIEW – The restoration of Hangar One, an icon of Silicon Valley that is a remarkable reminder of the bygone era of the giant airship, is scheduled to enter high speed under a project led by Google’s Planetary Ventures division.
The Hangar One, located at NASA’s Ames Research Center and Moffett Federal Airport in Mountain View, will be rebuilt to the point where it can be reused, a rebirth that may include space, aviation and technology research.
Full recovery work, after years of cleaning up toxic materials and restoring the environment, was due to begin as early as Thursday, according to information released by Anna Eshu, a Democrat whose area includes parts of Santa Clara County and San Mateo County, including Mountain View.
“I am excited that the recovery of Hangar One will finally begin on May 5,” said a spokesman for Eshoo in comments sent by email to the news organization. “Our community has been working for years to save this historic landmark that defines the landscape of the South Bay and Silicon Valley area.
In 2015, Google entered into a 60-year, $ 1.6 billion lease with NASA to officially take over the 1,000-acre Moffett Field with plans to redeploy its three airship hangars as robotics development laboratories, rovers, drones, balloons carrying the Internet and other cutting-edge technology, the company said at the time. The search giant’s Planetary Ventures will take primary responsibility for the huge effort.
The removal of toxic materials took years to complete under the auspices of the US Navy. Now the next stage of the work will be a comprehensive recovery effort, which is also likely to be a long-term endeavor.
“The hangar was originally built during the Great Depression and provides hundreds of much-needed jobs,” said Yeshu. “It has been close to NASA Ames from the beginning and was a training ground and hangar for aircraft during World War II.
The U.S. Navy completed Hangar One in 1933 to serve as the home of the USS Macon airship.
By 1950, Moffet Field had become the largest naval air transport base on the West Coast.
In the 1980s, the US Environmental Protection Agency placed the site on the National Priority List for sites with known releases of hazardous substances, pollutants or pollutants. Closed as an active military base in 1991 and transferred to NASA.
Following the discovery in 2003 that toxins were being extracted from hangar panels, the future of the Depression-era structure remained unknown for almost a decade before any action was taken.
Although NASA took over the site in 1994, the federal government believes the Navy is responsible for cleaning it up. In 2011, the Navy spent four months removing the outer panels of the structure, leaving NASA Ames responsible for re-removing the structure.
The ground floor, with a total area of eight acres, is 200 feet high and large enough to hold several football fields.
“This American icon is also one of the largest free-standing structures in the country,” said Yeshu.