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Google’s Big Plane, Using NASA’s Big Runway…

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Wow, I go away on vacation for one week and the media goes gaga over Google – what’s new, right?

Proving that if there was a video of Larry or Sergey picking their nose, it would be the most popular video on YouTube, is the media frenzy over news that Google is parking the company plane at a NASA runway.

For $1.3 million a year, Larry Page and Sergey Brin get to park their customized wide-body Boeing 767-200, as well as two other jets used by top Google executives, on Moffett Field, an airport run by NASA that is generally closed to private aircraft.

The runway is just 1.7 miles from the Googleplex, so you can understand why Page and Brin coughed-up the money in return for landing privileges. NASA is trying to placate protestors–the ones who now have a jumbo-jet flying over their homes–by claiming Google will help with official NASA experiments.

The agreement gives Nasa the right to place instruments or scientists on some of the Google jets to collect scientific data ? and in fact Nasa had already used one of the Gulfstreams to observe a meteor shower on August 31.

“It was an opportunity for us to defray some of the fixed costs we have to maintain the airfield as well as to have flights of opportunity for our science missions,” Steven Zornetzer, a Nasa official, told the newspaper. “It seemed like a win-win situation.”

While that may seem like a fair deal, few people are buying that story. Raise your hand if you believe this is about Google helping NASA? Now raise your hand if you believe this is about Google helping themselves? Thought so.

PS. I wonder if there’s a LandingRank algo to determine if Google’s plane gets to land first? And don’t try to tail the Google jet, they have a “nofollow” in place. ;-)


View Larger MapIt’s a long journey from the Googleplex to Moffet Field

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