The U.S. General Services Administration and NASA selected the Google subsidiary to maintain the three hangars and manage the airfield. Leasing the airfield, located between Mountain View and Sunnyvale in Northern California, will help NASA cut costs and redirect resources to its core missions.
"At NASA we're not only committed to exploring our solar system, but also making sure we're spending tax dollars wisely. That's why we've been so aggressive at making surplus or under-utilized property available to the private sector or other government partners," said NASA administrator Charles Bolden, in a statement released Monday.
The deal will include re-skinning Hangar One, which at present is a skeletal structure. The hangar, built in the 1930s, was used by the Navy to house airships and is in need of major restoration work. In 1994, it was handed over to NASA's Ames Research Center, but was put off-limits after hazardous chemical were found leaking out of the hangar.
The agreement also includes the creating of an educational and public-use facility, as well as upgrading a golf course at the site.
This agreement is in line with NASA's attempt to tighten its budget and ensure that core projects and missions are not compromised by budgetary allocations. NASA leased out the Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A to SpaceX, another attempt by the agency to maintain its facilities and cut costs by leasing them out to private enterprises.