EUSI Banner - Oct 2 2022 - 5-31 Oct

SpaceX to transform oil rigs into floating offshore launch pads

Starship. Photo: SpaceX

Paris, 20 January 2021. – SpaceX bought two oil rigs to transform them into floating offshore launch pads for its Starship, space and tech media reported.

The two nearly identical deepwater oil rigs – ENSCO8500 and 8501platforms – were acquired from the offshore drilling company Valaris and renamed Phobos and Deimos, like the Mars moons, the reports said.

The oil rigs were seen in the port of Brownsville, Texas, not far from SpaceX’s Starship manufacturing and launch facilities in Boca Chica.

“SpaceX is building floating, superheavy-class spaceports for Mars, moon & hypersonic travel around Earth”, SpaceX’s owner Elon Musk tweeted in June 2020.

Job postings on the company’s website seem to indicate that SpaceX initiated the work on floating spaceports; the company is looking for offshore engineers and specialists, some of them specifically for its Starship program.

Check Also

#SpaceWatchGL Opinion: ISU SSP22 Special – Team Project – Down 2 Earth

This has been an amazing summer at Instituto Superior Técnico - Tagus Park in Oeiras, Portugal, especially for the energetic, driven, and inspiring people making up the Down 2 Earth Team Project. Under the proposed topic of Space for Non-Space, the team focused on the downstream value chain trying to identify potential gaps and suggesting new ideas to foster the uptake of space data by the non-space sectors.