The floating, sea-based platforms in Boca Chica will serve as Starship launching and landing sites.
Newly minted resident Texan, Elon Musk, is wasting no time getting to work in the Lonestar State. According to NasaSpaceflight, Elon’s company SpaceX is converting two former oil rigs in Boca Chica, Texas, into floating Starship spaceports.
The spaceports, dubbed Deimos and Phobos after Mars’ moons, will reportedly serve as floating launch and landing sites, with the added advantage of reducing risk and noise for nearby residents.
While SpaceX, has not yet officially confirmed the purchase of the Boca Chica oil rigs nor the company’s use thereof, Musk did affirm the company’s plans to build such structures in a Twitter post last summer when retweeting a SpaceXFleet job listing for offshore operations engineers; the original listing called for Brownsville engineers with the intention of building an “offshore rocket launch facility”:
“SpaceX is building floating, superheavy-class spaceports for Marx, moon & hypersonic travel around Earth,” Musk wrote.
Furthermore, NasaSpaceflight writers, Thomas Burghardt and Michael Baylor, uncovered public records that revealed the sale of the oil rigs back in August of last year. According to these writers, an apparent SpaceX subsidiary Lone Star Mineral Development LLC, purchased the rigs from defunct oil company Valeris for $3.5 million each.
Both rigs still need to undergo extensive modification to be serviceable.
Starship plans to make its first orbital launch from Boca Chica late this year. The company’s ultimate goal is to send boarded flights to Mars by 2026.