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Google to build 1 mn sq ft campus on NASA property

September 29, 2005 13:46 IST

Google Inc. said Wednesday that it has signed an agreement to develop up to 1 million square feet on a NASA research centre in the heart of Silicon Valley.

The development is part of a partnership between Google and the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View. The company and government agency will work together to develop data management and computing tools, as well as promote entrepreneurial initiatives in outer space.

Google's announcement didn't provide details about what it might build at NASA Ames, but the company has made it clear that it needs more office space to accommodate its rapidly growing work force.

During the past two years, Google has been adding an average of four new employees per day, expanding its payroll to nearly 4,200 workers through June.

Through June, Google employed just under 4,200 workers, nearly three times more than two years ago.

The NASA research center is just a few miles from Googol's current headquarters -- a leased campus known as the 'Googleplex' that spans 915,000 square feet.

Google has plenty of money to build another campus, having just raised $4.17 billion in a recently completed stock offering to boost its cash holdings to $7.1 billion.

NASA Ames, in contrast, has been going through a tough times amid budget cutbacks. The 66-year-old space research center has recently been cutting staff as part of the agency's nationwide restructuring.

"Our planned partnership presents an enormous range of potential benefits to the space program," said NASA Ames Center Director G Scott Hubbard.

Google's shares fell $7.94, or 2.5 percent, to close Wednesday at $306 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

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