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Moffett Federal Airfield

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.

Updated:Caption:Photo:NASA Ames Historic Preservation Office
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Hangar One

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.
Updated:Caption:Photo:NASA Ames Historic Preservation Office
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Under construction

An aerial view of Moffett airfield while Hangar One was under construction in 1931.
Updated:Caption:Photo:NASA/Ames Research Center
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Inside Hangar One

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.
Updated:Caption:Photo:NASA Ames Historic Preservation Office
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USS Macon

The USS Macon moored at NAS Sunnyvale after arriving from Lakehurst, N.J., on October 15, 1933.
Updated:Caption:Photo:US Navy/ Naval Historical Center
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Macon crew

The crew of the USS Macon lined up in front of their airship in 1934.
Updated:Caption:Photo:NASA/ Ames Research Center
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Leaving Hangar One

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.
Updated:Caption:Photo:US Navy/ Naval Historical Center
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Plenty of space

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.
Updated:Caption:Photo:US Navy/ Naval Historical Center
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Decommissioned in 1991

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.
Updated:Caption:Photo:NASA Ames Historic Preservation Office
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Training balloons

The US Navy using training balloons at Moffett airfield back in the '30s.
Updated:Caption:Photo:NASA/ Ames Research Center
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Transferred to NASA

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.
Updated:Caption:Photo:NASA Ames Historic Preservation Office
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Pilots view

A pilot's view of the NASA Ames Research Center and the Moffett airfield runways.
Updated:Caption:Photo:NASA/ Ames Research Center
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Metal siding removed

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.
Updated:Caption:Photo:NASA Ames Historic Preservation Office
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Hangars Two and Three

Across the runways from Hangar One, are Hangars Two and Three.
Updated:Caption:Photo:NASA Ames Historic Preservation Office
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Being built

An aerial view of Hangars Two and Three while still under construction.
Updated:Caption:Photo:NASA/ Ames Research Center
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SOFIA takes off

NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) taking off from Moffett airfield in January 2008.
Updated:Caption:Photo:NASA/Ames Research Center
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