But Braxton admits NASA does not have sustainable income for long term costs, like eventually repairing or replacing Moffett's twin three-mile long runways. "It doesn't support our mission" he says of the runways. "To come up with that type of cash is a bridge too far, as we would say."
Braxton attended a community meeting Thursday night seeking solutions. One main issue is what to do about Hangar One, which covers eight acres and is so tall that clouds sometimes form inside. It's shell is filled with toxic materials, and the Navy says it'll cost $26 million to clean and remove it.
The Navy does not want to pay to "re-skin" the hangar, but preservationists are fighting hard for that. On Thursday, NASA formally announced it's asking for $20 million to re-skin the hangar. The local congresswoman, Rep. Anna Eschoo (D-Calif.), is asking for $10 million more. Both items are tucked inside spending bills going before the lame duck Congress. If they fail, Hangar One's fate is unclear.
Lenny Siegel, an environmentalist who founded the Save Hanger One Committee, is hoping that the government will create opportunities for joint ventures with high tech companies for scientific public-private partnerships at Moffett. "What we're trying to do is create a business plan," he says.