Google Plans Expansion On NASA Grounds

    September 28, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, CA, will host Google CEO Eric Schmidt for a 7:30 pm ET news conference.

They say a secret is something
you tell one other person
So I’m telling you, child.

-- U2, The Fly

We can probably rule out the space elevator being announced at today’s press get-together. Google and NASA do have something to say about the Ames Research Center, a NASA press release says:

NASA Ames Research Center, located in Silicon Valley, and Mountain View-based Google Inc., will make a major announcement during a news conference scheduled at 4:30 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2005. NASA Ames Research Center Director G. Scott Hubbard and Dr. Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google Inc., will make the announcement.

If it’s not the space elevator, it will probably be an investment by Google in some vacant land at the NASA facility. The San Francisco Chronicle writes that Google will disclose its plans to build a 1 million square foot campus at Ames, only about five minutes away from the current Googleplex.

The Chronicle has cited sources familiar with the plan; one would have to guess these are NASA people. Government types can’t keep a secret, while Google has shown itself almost as adept as Apple in keeping things quiet.

UPDATE! (7:22 PM EDT): Google and NASA have confirmed the development plan, as well as disclosing plans to work together on some high-end areas of technology; this from a joint statement by the two organizations:

NASA and Google have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that outlines plans for cooperation on a variety of areas, including large-scale data management, massively distributed computing, bio-info-nano convergence, and encouragement of the entrepreneurial space industry. The MOU also highlights plans for Google to develop up to 1 million square feet within the NASA Research Park at Moffett Field.

“Google and NASA share a common desire-to bring a universe of information to people around the world,” said Eric Schmidt, Google chief executive officer. “Imagine having a wide selection of images from the Apollo space mission at your fingertips whenever you want it. That’s just one small example of how this collaboration could help broaden technology’s role in making the world a better place.”

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.