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Google Founder Offer $33M For Use of NASA Airship Hangar

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the picking-up-the-check dept.

Earth 86

theodp writes "The Mercury News reports that NASA is considering an offer from Google's billionaire founders to provide '100 percent' funding to save Hangar One. Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt have, through a company they control, proposed paying the full $33 million cost of revamping Hangar One, once home to the Navy's giant airships at Moffett Field, in return for use up to two-thirds of the floor space of the hangar to house their fleet of eight private jets. In October, the Googlers struck an agreement with NASA Ames calling for the use of their 'co-located' Alpha fighter jet to, among other things, help NASA mitigate wildfires and study global warming."

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86 comments

Greetings Grammar Failure Story! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341010)

How r u tonite

first post. gnaa. nigger. nigger. gnaa. nigger.

surprised this isn't a timothy post.

Unmentioned (2)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341034)

Wonder if they've asked to put google advertising on the sides of the airships....

Re:Unmentioned (4, Informative)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341150)

The Navy no longer has any airships. The hangar is left over from WWII when they used blimps to patrol off the coast for Japanese submarines.

Re:Unmentioned (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341194)

The smaller hangers to the east of the runways were for blimps. Hanger One was built for the USS Macon, a rigid airship that was lost in 1935. It's a magnificent, incredibly large building, that is even more incredible when you realize that it was filled up by one object that flew.

The US Navy does own some lighter than air craft, including the MZ-3A which is a blimp. But, hey... it mostly floats.

Re:Unmentioned (5, Informative)

4way (519502) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341374)

True; when you have the chance visit the museum [moffettfieldmuseum.org] right around the corner. Take one of the Docent tours, ours was great, they have tons of stuff to show.

Re:Unmentioned (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341468)

It's hangars, mind; I'd hate to think you've mispelt them since the War. Or since 1935?

Re:Unmentioned (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38350500)

Thank you for your correction to my off the cuff remark. I think the basic idea still holds though.

Re:Unmentioned (1)

EricTheO (973140) | more than 2 years ago | (#38353190)

Hangar One is also a historic structure and San Francisco Bay Area landmark. I have been in the hangar during airshows that once were held at Moffett Field. During one airshow they had Hot Air Balloon rides inside Hangar One you could pay for. The balloon just rose vertically on a tether.

A bit behind? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341036)

Isn't this story two or three months old?

But but, think of the... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341038)

Mythbusters... Where are they going to perform their experiments if most of the hangar is full of planes?

Re:But but, think of the... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341454)

Duh ... they'll just fire the cannon over the airplanes.

Re:But but, think of the... (1)

k6mfw (1182893) | more than 2 years ago | (#38343854)

they have been using Hangers 2 and 3 which do not have many aircraft inside. The Airship Ventures "Eureka" takes little space (it is a pretty small airship for those two hangers). Air Guard, 129 Rescue Wing, supposably doesn't want to place aircraft inside Hangers 2 and 3. Mythbusters will be able to use those hangers for quite some time.

Re:But but, think of the... (1)

prisoner-of-enigma (535770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346800)

A "hanger" is the triangular-looking thing with a hook on the top you use to hang your shirts in your closet. A "hangar" is a large, enclosed structure usually used to store aircraft.

I see this usage mangled almost as often as "to/too" and "they're/there/their." Really, folks. It's not that hard. In this day and age where you can look up anything in an instant on the Internet -- and get real-time translations for non-native speakers -- there is no excuse for such ignorance.

Re:But but, think of the... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38343988)

Cannonball!

Re:But but, think of the... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38345892)

Google secretly owns all rights to the Mythbusters through this purchase and will continue to fund all needs for explosives.

Damn... (0)

moozey (2437812) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341040)

I was hoping they were using it to house a fleet of super-spaceships they'd just built. Maybe next time.

Re:Damn... (2)

RebelWithoutAClue (578771) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341132)

The "private jets" could just be a cover story.

Re:Damn... (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342680)

It doesn't even have to be a cover story.

The spacecraft would be privately owned. And "jet" covers any form of propulsion which emits a stream of reaction mass to provide thrust, including rockets and ion engines. (Hence the "Jet" in NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory).

Who will pay for maintenance after the retrofit? (2, Insightful)

Coward Anonymous (110649) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341058)

Will this end up being another government subsidy for people who don't need it or will there be a real lease involved?

Re:Who will pay for maintenance after the retrofit (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341162)

I suspect it's a bit more convoluted. The shell company that technically owns the jets and that will be using 2/3rds of the hangar has an odd relationship with NASA, refurbishing old jets, from small fighters to Boeing 767's, and turning them into "science" planes. It's more like this company is subsidizing the government. Sort of.

That "sort of" is what's intriguing. The jets are being refurbished, thanks to a massive pool of unaudited money, for vague "science" missions. The closest thing that comes to mind is Hughes and his odd relationship with the government: that entanglement produced the Glomar Explorer ostensibly for deep-sea mineral research but really for a CIA program to recover a Soviet submarine. The Google-NASA public-private partnership for "science" or "research" may be a way of hiding expensive and highly experimental espionage programs from auditors by keeping programs off the public books. The flights so far have included "observation" of a returning ESA space vehicle, so they have the capability to monitor signals from an inbound object; maybe also satellites? If you think all this sounds a bit paranoid, consider that Google and the CIA have some similar investment interests [wired.com] .

wrong (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341198)

This is the story of rich google founders using their money to buy the right to fly their planes into Moffet field airport at any hour of the night.

This company isn't really subsidizing the government at all, basically they are just causing more noise pollution at Moffet field and not paying any of the commercial airport landing/parking fees.

This is just another example of how rich folks don't pay their fair share of taxes (e.g., SJC landing fees) and don't have to follow the rules of the little guys have to follow (e.g., have to pay a fine for violating the SJC late-night landing curfew used to abate noise for nearby residents).

How 'bout they offer to pay all the landing fees to SJC that they *would* have had to pay and then pop for the $33M? At least then they wouldn't be acting as tax evaders (guess who has to make up for the fees that they don't pay to SJC airport, the other 99%-ers, yet they tie up the same air-traffic control resources and cause the same late-night noise pollution).

99%-ers meet your 1%-ers (aka googlers)... Bend-over baby :^(

Re:wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341494)

I'm pretty sure most of us 99%ers aren't flying private planes into SJC.

Re:wrong (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342412)

LOL, that's what I was thinking. It's like ranting about how they are getting around greens fees at the public course by building their own course. Not exactly an issue for the 99% crew.

Re:wrong (3, Insightful)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341532)

I love how dropping $33M can be read as tax evasion by you.

(Or do you really think the airport use fees at SJC will tally up to $33M? That's a LOT of flights at $40 a pop.)

Re:wrong (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341940)

Except this kind of how taxes for corporations and independent contractors work. If you don't want to pay taxes on it, then you can just blow it on a Mac Book Air or hangar space for NASA.

This is why republican rhetoric about "raising taxes on the rich" is so bogus. They don't pay taxes in the same way as normal people and certainly don't in the manner that the "jobs rhetoric" would seem to imply.

Re:wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38342178)

This is why republican rhetoric about "raising taxes on the rich" is so bogus

In a highly democratic state that is semi amusing...

Steve Jobs did the same thing with his car. He avoided car tags since the early 80s. Not because he couldnt afford it. But because he could. Not everyone can afford leasing a top of the line Mercedes...

The 'tax the rich' is lame anyway. You can raise all the way to 99.999% and they will still find a way to not pay. Want them to pay? Plug the damn loopholes... Exceptions create two things loopholes, and tax cliffs.

You want to avoid taxes? Find a decent CPA who doesnt care about the law and they will show you too how to do it. They even have a deduction for it.

Re:wrong (1)

prisoner-of-enigma (535770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346868)

They don't pay taxes in the same way as normal people and certainly don't in the manner that the "jobs rhetoric" would seem to imply.

You're right, we don't pay taxes in the same way as normal people We pay far *more* than the average taxpayer. I'm speaking as someone with a combined annual income of over US$200K. It puts me in the top 5% of all wage earners. Yet, collectively, the top few percentile of all federal taxpayers pays pays more than half the total taxes taken in by Uncle Sam. And you can't say it's wealth disparity, either, as the top few percentile earn less than 20% of the entire wealth nationally.

As for "jobs rhetoric," I'll leave you with this: go find a poor person who will give you a job. Good luck with that. It's folks like me with disposable income that take risks, start new businesses, or invest in existing ones so they can grow. Making me poor will not make you rich.

Re:wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38347592)

Dear Sir,

200k is pretty common here in silicon valley. Good luck even buying a modest house in any of the affluent areas such as Los Altos Hills or Menlo Park. You are just disillusioned if you think you are on-par with the top 1%. They pay lesser tax as a percentage as bulk of their income is through capital gains.

You still belong with us 99%ers. Sorry you have to be with us, but welcome and enjoy the stay!!

Re:wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38348980)

Don't sprain your elbow patting yourself on the back, pal.

You could double your income and still be more than six figures short of joining the 1%...

To be honest, 90% of the 1% are totally getting raped by the 0.1%.

The fact that you are a "wage earner" at all basically makes you a peon in the eyes of the truly wealthy.

But you correct that you are definitely paying taxes like a normal person.
If your combined income ( you and a spouse I assume ) is roughly evenly split then you get the unwelcome privilege to be paying %28 on some of your earnings and yet not maxing out your FICA (108K) so getting to pay an extra %7.65 payroll tax.

Get to 1M a year and you can pay %32 marginal, ( still less than your %28 + %7.65, since 90% of the 1M doesn't have FICA ).
At 10M a year you can pay %35.

But only pro athletes get paid $10M salary in cash. CEOs and Wall Street folk take that stuff in Options and stock, which probably ends up being taxed at Long term cap gains of %15.

Top 400 tax filers paid effective tax rate of %20 1992-2008. http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/08intop400.pdf

So yes, you are getting screwed but not by people earning less than you.

In contrast, in the bad old "socialist" 1950s marginal rates went over %50 for highest earners.

Re:wrong (1)

ormondotvos (936952) | more than 2 years ago | (#38352566)

I call fake. How many jobs can you supply at 200k?

Convenience, not tax evasion (1)

l00sr (266426) | more than 2 years ago | (#38343112)

Moffet Field is a 10 minute drive [google.com] to Google HQ; SJC is a whopping 7 minutes more [google.com] . More importantly, however, I guess they get to skip the airport security lines, etc. Flying from Moffet is all about convenience and (conspicuously) living it large. What they did to get access to Moffet is a bit of a mystery, but it probably involved deals such as this.

Re:wrong (5, Insightful)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341680)

There's a difference between loopholing your way out of taxes and (practically) buying your own airfield. This is pretty clean cut IMO. There's fees at a local airport but not a private one, and therefore some rich dudes buy a hangar at the private airport. I don't really see that as "evasion" per se. It'd be like owning a garage and someone calls you out for "stealing" revenue from the city's parking meters by not using them.

Re:wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38344218)

It's not just the convenience; it's also having a secure place for your jets. Guess I'd have to look elsewhere if they've picked this one.

Well, the Saab lineage does include fighter jets...

Re:wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38342190)

Sorry to say, but they aren't evading anything, at least not in a criminal sense.
Most people, given the (legal) choice, will go for the less expensive alternative as well, so why is it that is only wrong when a rich person does it and not when one of the 99% does it?
Maybe because it isn't wrong for anyone to do it as long as it is legal.

With that said: people should stop being such a hypocrite.

Re:wrong (2)

anagama (611277) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342576)

It depends. How much is the hangar worth? How much would it cost to build or lease such a hangar? I don't really know the answer to those questions.

Random site found by googling, shows that a 20,000 sq ft hanger will run about $1.9m. http://www.reedconstructiondata.com/rsmeans/models/hangar/ [reedconstructiondata.com]

Hangar One is 349,964 sq ft. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hangar_One_(Mountain_View,_California) [wikipedia.org] ). I don't know if costs go down or up when building a hangar 17.5x the size of a $1.9m hangar, but if there is a linear relationship between size and price, the cost to build one would be around $33m. Of course, the 8 acres of land it covers is worth something, but the space sharing arrangement may make the deal a fair one.

Like many, I am disgusted by the way the US takes from the middle class in order give assets and special treatment to the super-rich, but this particular example might not be such a bad deal. The only way to really know that however, is to estimate the value of Hangar One by more valid means than googling up a random contractor's price list.

Re:wrong (1)

prisoner-of-enigma (535770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38347308)

Like many, I am disgusted by the way the US takes from the middle class in order give assets and special treatment to the super-rich,

And precisely how is the US "taking" this hangar from the middle class and "giving" it away when it's being *paid for*? Or did you somehow overlook the $33M that changed hands in exchange for use of the hangar? If anything, the deal is a very good one for the hangar owners since they're going to get $33M to lease a space that would otherwise have generated zero dollars and stood largely unused!

Re:wrong (1)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 2 years ago | (#38343390)

Isn't Moffet government land (i.e. publicly-owned)? So, my taxes would be paying for the ground under Google's founders' eight planes? (That's one plane for every day of the week, plus Feb 29.) I guess Google's changed its unlivable motto "Don't be evil" to: "If ya got it, flaunt it."

Meanwhile they practice discriminatory ageism in hiring (for which they're being sued), arbitrarily lock people out of their online data (after enticing people to use their free service as being indispensable), and share personal data with various government agencies. And lots more. I am not so keen on the Goog.

Re:wrong (1)

squidflakes (905524) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345296)

I know what landing, hangar, service, and occasional tie-down fees are for smaller jets. I can only imagine what they would be for something like a private 737.

That 33 million probably ends up being much cheaper in the long-run than parking those giants at any normal FBO.

Re:Who will pay for maintenance after the retrofit (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#38344144)

The shell company that technically owns the jets and that will be using 2/3rds of the hangar has an odd relationship with NASA, refurbishing old jets, from small fighters to Boeing 767's, and turning them into "science" planes. It's more like this company is subsidizing the government.

Its even more like ultra-rich geeks are spending lots of money on a hobby that happens to align with the objectives of a public agency.

The Google-NASA public-private partnership for "science" or "research" may be a way of hiding expensive and highly experimental espionage programs from auditors by keeping programs off the public books.

Well, except that the agreements and payments in the partnership are on the public books, rather than off them, and it isn't a NASA-Google partnership, as Google isn't actually involved (a separate company co-owned by people who also happen to be Google executives is.)

There could, of course, be undisclosed payments through the black budget to H211 LLC (the company through which the Googlers own the planes) outside of the NASA partnership, but the same is true of any private venture whether or not it has an overt partnership with a government agency.

And, of course, the purpose of the on-the-books expenditures could be an elaborate deception, but that's true of every other on-the-books government expenditure, too.

XCOM (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341082)

I guess that's one thing that X-COM UFO Defense got wrong. X-COM's not trying to get funding from the countries: they're trying to get funding from the companies.

"considering offer" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341096)

I love that term 'considering offer'. Because I picture NASA employees secretly partying with bottles of champagne behind the scenes.

Google: Carbon Offsets Mitigate Jets' Impact (4, Informative)

theodp (442580) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341152)

For the Highest Fliers, New Scrutiny [wsj.com] : Messrs. Page and Brin, the Google co-founders, operate at least four aircraft registered under various companies that aren't connected to Google, FAA and other aviation records show: a Boeing 767, a Boeing 757, plus two Gulfstream G-V's. During the four-year period, the jets' most frequent destinations outside of their northern California base were Los Angeles, New York and Washington. For last year's eclipse-viewing journey, the 767 and a Gulfstream V each made two round-trips from the U.S. mainland to Tahiti. Those flights used an estimated 52,000 gallons of aviation fuel and in total cost upwards of $430,000, according to calculations by Conklin & de Decker Aviation Information. The research firm is hired by some public companies to provide aircraft-cost estimates for regulatory filings. A Google spokeswoman confirmed that the Tahiti journey was for the eclipse, saying the pair brought a group with them on the planes. Messrs. Page and Brin have mitigated the greenhouse gas emissions from their aircraft usage by purchasing an even greater amount of carbon offsets, she said. They also frequently lend their planes for philanthropic and scientific missions.

what about their fair share of taxes and fees? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341220)

By flying their plane into Moffett field instead of SJC, they essentially get "free" landing rights and to cause noise pollution w/o creating any offsets.

How 'bout they mitigate their tax evasion and noise pollution by sending the equivalent fees for landing and fines for late landing to the upkeep of SJC airport?

Nah, being the 1% (or maybe the 0.01%), they don't have to bother with rules. Meanwhile the typical SJC flier pays more landing fees (someone has to make up for lost revenue) and they get free noise pollution, without having to pay fines.

99%, wake up, these losers are just taking us all for a ride and with their sweet deal a Moffett, they are the 1%...

Re:what about their fair share of taxes and fees? (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341774)

Geez, do you really have to apply the latest groupthink to everything you say? Blah blah 1% 99% blah blah waaaah somebody give me some money.

Re:what about their fair share of taxes and fees? (1)

cratermoon (765155) | more than 2 years ago | (#38343608)

We'll just rename the building to "Hanger One Percent"

Re:what about their fair share of taxes and fees? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38343844)

Hehe. The funny thing is that most 4channers and Slashdotters will probably be in the top 5% or so when you take the world population into account..

Re:what about their fair share of taxes and fees? (4, Insightful)

swillden (191260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38345588)

Hehe. The funny thing is that most 4channers and Slashdotters will probably be in the top 5% or so when you take the world population into account..

The US median household income is about $48K. According to http://www.globalrichlist.com/ [globalrichlist.com] , someone making $48K annually is in the top 0.99% worldwide. So half of Americans are "one-percenters". I think the average well-established (10+ years experience, good track record) software engineer makes over $100K, which puts them in the top 0.66% worldwide.

To make the top 1% in the US (in terms of household income, which isn't the same as wealth), you have to have an annual income in excess of $300K, which puts you on the top 0.001% worldwide.

To be in the top 5% worldwide you need an annual household income of $33,700 or higher. I suspect that very, very few slashdotters who have full-time employment fall below that level.

Re:what about their fair share of taxes and fees? (1)

cratermoon (765155) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346494)

Those that have jobs, at least :/

Re:what about their fair share of taxes and fees? (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348114)

Those that have jobs, at least :/

That's why I said "those who have full-time employment".

I do have to wonder a bit about the amount of unemployment angst here. From where I sit the job market for software developers, at least, is very healthy. It's a little tougher for people with little experience, and a little tougher at the more senior end (salary > $120K), but the midrange is almost a seller's market -- and the ends aren't too bad.

But I suppose it's not the same everywhere, and a lot of slashdotters are more "IT guys", rather than developers, and I don't really know anything about that market.

Re:what about their fair share of taxes and fees? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341894)

why should they pay SJC if they are not using SJC, that is a stupid post and you should feel bad for writing it

Re:what about their fair share of taxes and fees? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342432)

A lot of the 99% folks you hang out with fly private jets into SJC?

Re:what about their fair share of taxes and fees? (1)

Anonymus (2267354) | more than 2 years ago | (#38343136)

All I can hear is "boo hoo, I'm a top 2% and wish I were a 1% but now I have to pay a little bit more to fly my private jet into SJC now"

Re:what about their fair share of taxes and fees? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38349550)

Top 2% probably aren't flying private jets dude.

top 2% is 365K

Gulfstream V is 59 million.

min cost to operate any private jet is ~$1500 per hour.

Larry Ellison, is that you? (1)

tlambert (566799) | more than 2 years ago | (#38350970)

Larry Ellison, is that you?

Re:what about their fair share of taxes and fees?

By flying their plane into Moffett field instead of SJC, they essentially get "free" landing rights and to cause noise pollution w/o creating any offsets.

How 'bout they mitigate their tax evasion and noise pollution by sending the equivalent fees for landing and fines for late landing to the upkeep of SJC airport?

Nah, being the 1% (or maybe the 0.01%), they don't have to bother with rules. Meanwhile the typical SJC flier pays more landing fees (someone has to make up for lost revenue) and they get free noise pollution, without having to pay fines.

99%, wake up, these losers are just taking us all for a ride and with their sweet deal a Moffett, they are the 1%...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Ellison#Private_jet [wikipedia.org] ...it sure sounds like sour grapes over the noise ordinance and fines for violating it.

Moffet's not a Customs Airport of Entry, so any international flights have to bounce through another airport before landing there. For Moffet, that's generally Oakland. So they'd pay the landing fees there.

Also, they have stronger noise restrictions than SJC:

Moffet:

http://www.aviationreferencedesk.com/airport/NUQ/ [aviationre...cedesk.com]
"NS ABTMT - NO JET DEP RUNWAY 14L/R BTN HRS OF 0700-1300Z++."

Mineta::

http://www.aviationreferencedesk.com/airport/SJC/ [aviationre...cedesk.com]
"NOISE ABATEMENT PROCEDURE: RUNWAY 30L/12R IS PREFERRED ARRIVAL RUNWAY FOR JET AIRCRAFT AND RUNWAY 12L/30R IS THE PREFERRED DEP RUNWAY FOR JET AIRCRAFT. ALL JET AIRCRAFT TAKEOFFS ARE TO BE INITIATED FROM EOR UNLESS DIRECTED OTHERWISE BY AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL TOWER."

-- Terry

Re:Google: Carbon Offsets Mitigate Jets' Impact (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341274)

For the Highest Fliers, New Scrutiny [wsj.com] : Messrs. Page and Brin, the Google co-founders, operate at least four aircraft registered under various companies that aren't connected to Google, FAA and other aviation records show: a Boeing 767, a Boeing 757, plus two Gulfstream G-V's. During the four-year period, the jets' most frequent destinations outside of their northern California base were Los Angeles, New York and Washington. For last year's eclipse-viewing journey, the 767 and a Gulfstream V each made two round-trips from the U.S. mainland to Tahiti. Those flights used an estimated 52,000 gallons of aviation fuel and in total cost upwards of $430,000, according to calculations by Conklin & de Decker Aviation Information. The research firm is hired by some public companies to provide aircraft-cost estimates for regulatory filings. A Google spokeswoman confirmed that the Tahiti journey was for the eclipse, saying the pair brought a group with them on the planes. Messrs. Page and Brin have mitigated the greenhouse gas emissions from their aircraft usage by purchasing an even greater amount of carbon offsets, she said. They also frequently lend their planes for philanthropic and scientific missions.

This is some PR marksmanship, if you can convince people that the impact of maintaining and using a fleet of 7 (8 with the fighter) private jets for 3 company execs [techcrunch.com] (including a 767 jumbojet for crying! this is oil baron style gluttony) is 'mitigated' by paying a little extra carbon offset.

Re:Google: Carbon Offsets Mitigate Jets' Impact (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342022)

they might just as well be upfront about it and say it's for fun.

anyhow, even red bull has a jet like that. and couple of others.
actually, if you go to salzburg, go to that red bull museum there. it's worth it(it's free), actually they have couple of choppers too(a cobra!), f1's, racing bikes.. and the whole thing looks like a bond villains boardroom. and I couldn't spot any "buuhuu we buy carbon offsets" signs.

http://www.hangar-7.com/en/the-flying-bulls/aircraft/ [hangar-7.com] let's face it, compared to that the google bozos have bought a lot of really boring really expensive shit.

and red bulls stuff isn't just for friends of the board(and science! never forget the science!), so they do their pr stuff better..

Re:Google: Carbon Offsets Mitigate Jets' Impact (1)

IRWolfie- (1148617) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342718)

The article says an even greater amount of carbon offsets, not a "little extra".

Re:Google: Carbon Offsets Mitigate Jets' Impact (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38343648)

The article says an even greater amount of carbon offsets, not a "little extra".

Regardless of 'little extra', 'even greater', or 'a huge fucking pile of money' - no money 'offsets' the environmental impact of operating an insane fleet of private jets, including a fighter jet, for 3 billionair Corp execs. There is no logic in that. The system is meant to overall reduce total emissions (or more specifically reach a certain goal) by giving economic incentive to more environmental friendly solutions on an international scale and balancing against industrial needs and need for growth. If you become more environmental friendly, you gain economic benefit by selling offsets. If your industry needs time to reach goals it will cost you extra, an economic incentive. Nothing in this system is meant to give Corp exec billionairs morally free reign to crap all over the environment just because they can afford it.

I'm not saying they are the only ones, or that their ridiculous fleet of private jets is of any big environmental concern in the large scheme of things. It is just ridiculous of them to bring that defense to the table (would it be better if they didn't pay offset? that doesn't matter much either really). As another poster said, they should have just said we do it because we can.

Re:Google: Carbon Offsets Mitigate Jets' Impact (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38344766)

I'm pretty sure you can make Global Warming go away by praying at the altar of the First Church of the Carbon Offset (Reformed) and making donations regularly.

Re:Google: Carbon Offsets Mitigate Jets' Impact (1)

cratermoon (765155) | more than 2 years ago | (#38343774)

I like the idea of renaming the hangar to "Hangar One Percent".

I'm more concerned. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341156)

I'm more concerned that google effectively has a fighter jet.

Re:I'm more concerned. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341406)

It's not hard to own a war bird jet aircraft, you can them for from upwards of ~US$100,000. Quite a few private owners of them in the world.

Re:I'm more concerned. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38342030)

Not to mention that it is an Alpha Jet, which is pretty much exclusively a trainer.

2011 moncler jassen dames (-1, Offtopic)

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Disused hangers (1)

qxcv (2422318) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341242)

These things are actually surprisingly versatile, some company in Germany built a giant climate controlled tropical resort [wikipedia.org] out of one a few years ago after the collapse of an airship startup.

Re:Disused hangers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341292)

Like a Biodome, but for tourists. It is, actually, the final destination for Malaysians, should their country be submerged by an enormous tsunami.

"trickle-down" (2)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341444)

So that is the "trickle-down" effect mentioned here [slashdot.org] ...

Must be nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341476)

Some people have very different problems than me. Those 3 guys are spending $33M so they have somewhere to put their 8 jets.

I already have a place to store *my* 8 jets: fantasy land.

Re:Must be nice (3, Informative)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341500)

That's not that much to spend for the cost savings of having a consolidated location for the fleet. This will significantly decrease the cost of maintenance and upkeep, and if I had to guess, will pay for itself in a very short time.

I went through this same thing on a smaller scale last year when I was finally able to get a large hanger at one airport as opposed to three single hangars at two different airports. Now I only have one hangar bill, one mechanic, and keeping track of everything is much easier.

Study (0)

lemmis_86 (1135345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341630)

"...and study global warming." - Yes, let's study global warming by building a huge building with our precious earthly resources. It's like saying "we're going to fight for peace".

Company name: H211 (2)

kenrick (888343) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341752)

Was trying to work out why they named there subsidary H211.

Are they referring to the Hydrogen line [wikipedia.org] , which has a wavelength of 21.1cm?

Re:Company name: H211 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38342870)

Maybe they were first based in Hangar 211 somewhere?

Re:Company name: H211 (1)

k6mfw (1182893) | more than 2 years ago | (#38343814)

N211 is the name of the hanger at the tarmac of Ames Research Center, not the same as the blimp hangers (1, 2, 3) or the Air Guard hanger on other side of the runways. Maybe they will end up buying it, NASA pretty much no longer has aircraft based at Ames. They used to back in the days, XV-15 Tilt Rotor, QSRA, U2s, AV8B, and some other experimental aircraft.

Re:Company name: H211 (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#38344366)

Was trying to work out why they named there subsidary H211.

Just as a note, its not a subsidiary. Its an LLC directly owned by the Google founders, not a subsidiary of Google or some other company.

Re:Company name: H211 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38344758)

This will be unpopular on Slashdot, but what about the Bible? Strong Root H211 (H = Hebrew, 211 = word # 221) in Strong's Concordance [wikipedia.org] (a major standard that everyone in Biblical studies uses) is Ophir [wikipedia.org] , a vague "land of gold" identified sometimes as the far east.

Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341920)

White people problems? Just where do I store my 8 planes and fighter jets...

Screw Advertising... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38342408)

Use a modern-day airship to stay aloft for months recording google earth photos.

Admittedly, it would be hard to get photos of D.C. or NYC without those stupid DHS "warning" lasers blinding the pilot.

Personal Connection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38342658)

My Dad worked as a defense contractor in the 70's.
One time he flew into Moffet in the fog and was picked up by a local in a Jeep.
They got lost and were driving around and around when one of them looked up and noticed that all of the stars were aligned in a rectangular grid.
They don't know how long they were driving around inside the hangar.

loss of govt research abilities (2)

k6mfw (1182893) | more than 2 years ago | (#38344396)

I'm concerned about declining government research facilities i.e. NASA. Reason is private companies are profit driven, government is not. Before you all start screaming "damn socialists" you need to realize there was a time which researchers can work on developing new technology and not be concerned with PHB asking for productivity reports. Now we can argue about the goals (i.e. weapons) but looking at NASA's predecessor N.A.C.A. which they had facilities and labs (many at Ames Research Center, it was Ames Aeronautical Laboratory in the days). These facilities housed scientists, engineers, technicians to work on various things too expensive and risky for private companies, it was this work that helped US become a leader in aerospace technology (specifically why NACA was created in 1915). Again we can argue about govt research but look at it this way, if we don't do it someone else will (and they are). At Edwards AFB in the 1950s, Scott Crossfield said of the inventory of the highest flying, fastest flying aircraft, "Not even Howard Hughes has what we have!" Twenty years before, Hughes had the fastest airplane.

Many people argue over govt waste, corporate handouts, and evils of socialism but consider the US has the best airplanes because the research and development was subsidized by the US govt. Heck, other countries do the same. Now there was a time when private companies did research without concern of quarterly profits. Bell labs (the transistor), Xerox Palo Alto (desktop computer with windows and mouse), IBM Almaden (harddrive). But these private research labs are now applied technology centers. I don't really know if Google has a dedicated lab devoted to longterm research and they may not be around long enough.

Speaking of Hanger One, Navy made big use of it when Moffett was active. It housed many P3s which can be serviced and shielded from rain and wind. Airshows they had back then (1980s) had huge turnout of 100,000s and more (admittance was free). Companies along Ellis st got pissed with so many cars parked in their lots but flying demos were impressive and lots of displays even USGS had a display. You can tour P3s and talk with the officers. Amateur radio people provided communications support including amateur TV, I talked with one guy who was on top of Hanger One with his ATV camera, he said he was able to see the planes i.e. Blue Angels fly across right at his eye level. He said was scary climbing up as walkway inside was thin with a single cable on each side.

From a bio of Joseph Ames which ARC was named after, and a true American who put service before self:
from http://grin.hq.nasa.gov/ABSTRACTS/GPN-2000-001639.html [nasa.gov]
Ames expected the NACA to encourage engineering education. He pressed universities to train more aerodynamicists, then structured NACA to give young engineers on-the-job training. Ames gave the NACA a focused vision that was research-based and decided that aerodynamics was the most important field of endeavor. Two years later he accepted the Collier Trophy on behalf of the NACA. He kept the NACA alive when Herbert Hoover tried to eliminate it and transfer its duties to industry.

Ames accepted a nomination by Air Minister Hermann Goring to the Deutsche Akademie der Luftfartforschung. Ames then considered it an honor, many Americans did, and was surprised to learn about the massive Nazi investment in aeronautical infrastructure, then six times larger than the NACA. Ames urged the funding for a second laboratory [ at Moffett Field ] and expansion of the NACA facilities to prepare for war.

Re:loss of govt research abilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38344522)

As a government PHB, I can assure you that we waste a lot more time on "PHB asking for productivity reports" than does industry. My full time job is interfering with research to produce productivity reports.

Re:loss of govt research abilities (1)

k6mfw (1182893) | more than 2 years ago | (#38347874)

well maybe I was being too idealistic. In the ideal world i.e. back in NACA days they can spend time on research, i.e. RT Jones working on swept wing (he really wanted to do the oblique wing) http://www.desktop.aero/library/whitepaper/OFW_WP_Ch1_v0711.html [desktop.aero]

Google's airport (2)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#38344724)

Moffett Field is becoming Google's private airport.

Moffett Field was a former Navy facility, but the Navy moved out years ago, when they stopped patrolling the seas with P-3 Orions. NASA had a presence there because they had a big wind tunnel at Ames. Once the Navy moved out, the place was way underutilized. Parts of the base are leased out to startups, the west coast branch of CMU. The airfield itself is barely used. NASA doesn't do much there. I've been over there for NASA meetings, and the place is dead.

So Page and Brin cut a deal with NASA in 2007 to keep their private planes [sfgate.com] (their Boeing 767 airliner, etc.) there and use the field. That was controversial at the time, but Moffett was so underutilized that nobody cared.

Hangar One, the big dirigible hanger, has been out of use for years, and there's a "Save Hangar One" group. It's a nice structure; I've been inside it. But it needs work and the Navy doesn't want to maintain it. One of the Austin Powers movies had a scene in Hangar One, which is probably the biggest unused indoor clear space on the planet.

So if the Google guys want to convert it to their lair, that probably won't upset many people locally.

Re:Google's airport (1)

AMuse (121806) | more than 2 years ago | (#38348534)

Just to clarify for other readers, you post makes it sound like "NASA Doesn't do much" at NASA ARC.

I work at ARC, and it's a wonderful research facility! In just my short time here I've been involved with groups doing pioneering work in computer science and robotics [nasa.gov] , supercomputing [nasa.gov] , avionics [nasa.gov] , aviation safety [nasa.gov] , cockpit design, UAVs [nasa.gov] (for science, not war!), earth science, biology [nasa.gov] , astrophysics [astrochem.org] , planetary discovery, and so much more!!

NASA Kepler [nasa.gov] , which just found a "twin" earth (Google: Kepler 22-b) was begun here, and the science operations are still performed here.

Quite a lot of great stuff comes out of NASA Ames, for a very small overall price tag.

What ever happened to being an american (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38350852)

Geez, what the hell, what is wrong with these people enjoying their money?! Last i checked i lived in America not chin, rus, hmm well li live in america

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