Friday, July 20, 2007

Moffet Field Hanger

This is Hanger One at Moffet Field, a former Naval Air Station. The US Navy left Moffet Field in 1994, leaving the field to the NASA Ames Research Center. Many of the buildings now house NASA contractors. The airfield sometimes serves Air Force One during visits of the president to the Bay Area.

Hanger One was built in the 1930s to house the USS Macon, a helium filled blimp commissioned by the Navy for scouting. The hanger is 1,133 feet long, 308 feet wide, and covers 8 acres in area.

Hanger One is so large that it can generate it's own unique weather. Fog sometimes forms inside the hanger, near the ceiling. I've heard that it can even rain inside the hanger.

While it is a familiar and significant historical landmark for Bay Area residents, it is an environmental hazard due to asbestos and toxic materials that leach into the area's ground water. The high costs of both demolition or decontamination have thus far prevented any decisions about how to deal with the hanger.