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NASA unveils green science commune dream

Sells Ames chunk for research village

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NASA is partnering with two Silicon Valley colleges to transform a chunk of its Ames Research Center in Mountain View into a prototype "environmentally sustainable" commune for scientists.

The space agency said today that it has inked a land lease with the University of California at Santa Cruz and the Foothill-De Anza Community College District to provide 75 acres of land of its California research compound.

The goal is to create a research and education village "dedicated to preparing the workforce of the future and conducting research at the forefront of science and technology," according to UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal.

Their vision for the community includes housing, state-of-the-art research and teaching labs, classrooms, and accommodations for industrial partners. The village will be located on the scenic south side of NASA's highly toxic Moffett Field Hanger One.

There, residents will have easy Zeppelin access and enjoy Google jets landing in their backyard. The Universities hope students attending the campus will become future employees of NASA to help the space agency "achieve its exploration objectives."

NASA said the community will be designed to have a minimal carbon footprint and serve as a model to test and deploy new renewable energy and resource conservation systems.

With the space agency's help, maybe we'll get to see a community entirely consisting of piss drinkers - blessedly secluded from the judging eyes of non-scientific outsiders.

Collaborators hope to break ground by 2013 and begin shipping in unwitting test subjects occupants by 2015. The project is expected to cost more than $1bn, largely raised by external capital investment. ®

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