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Moffett Federal Airfield

Hangar One

Under construction

Inside Hangar One

USS Macon

Macon crew

Leaving Hangar One

Plenty of space

Decommissioned in 1991

Training balloons

Transferred to NASA

Pilots view

Metal siding removed

Hangars Two and Three

Being built

SOFIA takes off

Moffett Federal Airfield, located near the heart of Silicon Valley, could soon be managed by a subsidiary of Google.

NASA and the US General Services Administration have chosen Planetary Ventures, a Google subsidiary, as the "preferred lessee" to manage the airfield and rehab the historic hangars on the site. NASA said leasing the airfield will both reduce costs and generate revenue.

Google's jet fleet is already housed at Moffett airfield, which is about three miles from the Web giant's Mountain View, Calif., headquarters, but the airfield has a history that dates back to long before the tech bubble. Click through this gallery for a look at Silicon Valley's historic airfield.

Caption by / Photo by NASA Ames Historic Preservation Office
Hangar One, seen above with its building skin removed, was built to support the US Navy's "lighter-than-air" reconnaissance program following World War I, according to the NASA Ames Historic Preservation Office. Construction began in October 1931 and was completed on July 1, 1933.
Caption by / Photo by NASA Ames Historic Preservation Office
An aerial view of Moffett airfield while Hangar One was under construction in 1931.
Caption by / Photo by NASA/Ames Research Center
The US Navy purchased the initial 1,000 acres for Naval Air Station Sunnyvale, renamed NAS Moffett Field in 1935, in August 1931. The massive Hangar One was designed to be used by the USS Macon, a 6,500,000 cubic-foot dirigible, and associated Sparrowhawk aircraft, according to the NASA Ames Historic Preservation Office.
Caption by / Photo by NASA Ames Historic Preservation Office
The USS Macon moored at NAS Sunnyvale after arriving from Lakehurst, N.J., on October 15, 1933.
Caption by / Photo by US Navy/ Naval Historical Center
The crew of the USS Macon lined up in front of their airship in 1934.
Caption by / Photo by NASA/ Ames Research Center
The USS Macon, seen above leaving Hangar One in October 1933 to prep for its first flight since arriving from the East Coast, was powered by eight engines providing 4,500 horsepower and had a top speed of 85 miles per hour.
Caption by / Photo by US Navy/ Naval Historical Center
The USS Macon, seen above docked in Hangar One along with a small blimp, crashed off the coast of California due to a storm during a training mission in 1935. The Macon's accident along with the crash of its sister ship, the USS Akron, effectively ended the Navy's "lighter-than-air" program, according to the NASA Ames Historic Preservation Office.
Caption by / Photo by US Navy/ Naval Historical Center
Hangar One was used by both the Army Air Corps and the Navy from 1935 until 1991 when Moffett Field was decommissioned under the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process.
Caption by / Photo by NASA Ames Historic Preservation Office
The US Navy using training balloons at Moffett airfield back in the '30s.
Caption by / Photo by NASA/ Ames Research Center
Hangar One, seen above with its building skin partially removed, and the approximately 1,100-acre airfield was transferred by the Navy to NASA in 1994, according to the NASA Ames Historic Preservation Office, to be integrated with the adjacent Ames Research Center.
Caption by / Photo by NASA Ames Historic Preservation Office
A pilot's view of the NASA Ames Research Center and the Moffett airfield runways.
Caption by / Photo by NASA/ Ames Research Center
The original metal panel siding on the exterior of Hangar One was removed by the Navy after toxins detected in the adjacent NASA Ames Research Center's storm drain system were linked to the deteriorating hangar siding.
Caption by / Photo by NASA Ames Historic Preservation Office
Across the runways from Hangar One, are Hangars Two and Three.
Caption by / Photo by NASA Ames Historic Preservation Office
An aerial view of Hangars Two and Three while still under construction.
Caption by / Photo by NASA/ Ames Research Center
NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) taking off from Moffett airfield in January 2008.
Caption by / Photo by NASA/Ames Research Center
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