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Inside Google's Secret Lab

Google X’s Silicon Valley nerd heaven—America’s last great corporate research lab
Sergey Brin wearing Google Glass
Sergey Brin wearing Google GlassPhotograph by David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

How this week's cover got made

Last February, Astro Teller, the director of Google’s secretive research lab, Google X, went to seek approval from Chief Executive Officer Larry Page for an unlikely acquisition. Teller was proposing that Google buy Makani Power, a startup that develops wind turbines mounted on unmanned, fixed-wing aircraft tethered to the ground like a kite. The startup, Teller told Page, was seeing promising results, and, he added proudly, its prototypes had survived all recent tests intact.