SpaceX bought two former Valaris oil rigs to build floating launchpads for its Starship rocket

An 8500 sequence oil rig


Elon Musk’s SpaceX bought two deepwater oil rigs final 12 months and is changing them into floating launchpads, to help the big Starship rockets that the corporate is growing.

The rigs are within the Port of Brownsville, close to SpaceX’s Starship improvement facility in Boca Chica, Texas.

The rigs have been renamed Deimos and Phobos, presumably in homage to the Martian moons.

Starship is the big rocket that SpaceX is growing to meet Musk’s purpose of launching cargo and as many as 100 folks at a time on missions to the moon and Mars.

The rocket is SpaceX’s prime precedence, with SpaceX flying its most up-to-date prototype to its highest altitude but throughout a take a look at flight in December. The Starship prototype launched to about 40,000 ft and accomplished a number of improvement goals, regardless of exploding on influence when it tried to land.

Starship prototype SN8 fires its engines and lifts off in Boca Chica, Texas.


Public data present that Valaris’ “ultra-deepwater semi-submersible” oil rigs 8500 and 8501 had been offered for $3.5 million every. Valaris, headquartered in Houston, Texas, and the world’s largest proprietor of offshore oil rigs, filed for Chapter 11 chapter in August because it sought to lighten a heavy debt load.

The pair of rigs was bought in July 2020 by restricted legal responsibility company Lone Star Mineral Development, in accordance to public data. Lone Star Mineral Development was integrated in June 2020 and registered within the title of SpaceX CFO Bret Johnsen.

SpaceX’s buy and work on the oil rigs was first recognized by reporters for NASASpaceflight, a space-focused web site.

The firm didn’t reply to a CNBC request for remark.

Musk, shortly earlier than Lone Star Mineral Development was integrated, defined in a tweet that SpaceX plans to build “floating, superheavy-class spaceports for Mars, moon & hypersonic travel around Earth.”

SpaceX has been publicly hiring for offshore operations positions since final 12 months, when the corporate posted that it was constructing “a team of engineers and technicians to design and build an operational offshore rocket launch facility.”

Additionally, as of noon Tuesday there have been two short-term offshore positions at present obtainable in Brownsville listed on the corporate’s profession web site. One of these two positions is for an electrician and asks that candidates give you the chance to “install enhancements and major upgrades to offshore vessel electrical systems.”

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