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Google guys fork over pocket change to land at NASA airfield

Google's co-founders will pay NASA $1.3 million annually for the right to land their jumbo jet at the space agency's airfield near Mountain View, Calif.

It's great to be rich.

I've decided that since Google's Larry Page and Sergey Brin are paying $1.3 million annually, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, to NASA to be able to land their uber-luxe Boeing 767 at the space agency's airfield near Mountain View, Calif., I'm going to reach into my own deep pockets so I can land my plane there.

Oh, I'll also agree to carry "scientific equipment" for the agency on my plane, and in return for that favor and paying out the rounding error on my fortune, I hope that NASA will grant me the same privilege that it has given Page and Brin.

This situation is turning out to be a joke. Was it just that Page and Brin were the first to figure out a way to get NASA to let them land their plane at Moffett Federal Airfield, which is otherwise closed to private traffic, but is extremely close to Google's headquarters? After all, sometimes all it takes is figuring out how to ask for something.

But the joke here is the money the two are paying the agency. Seriously. I mean, how many people in Silicon Valley have private planes and could easily part with $1.3 million for the right to use a lightly trafficked runway that's close to home? Well, it's probably not in the thousands, but I bet it's in the hundreds.

And given how bad highway traffic can be on Highway 101, the main artery through Silicon Valley, I bet that most of those people would also be willing to give up a little space on their plane to carry the unspecified scientific equipment so that they could avoid having to deal with the inconvenience of driving in and out of San Jose's international airport.

So, given all that, how is NASA going to make up its mind about which tycoons get to use its runway? Whatever method they choose, I hope they'll pick me.