Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, announced this Monday ( May 31st) that his spaceport manufacturer is building a floating spaceport in the ocean region off the coast of Texas, in the United States. The platform may serve as the launch and landing base for the agency’s rockets on reusable rocket space missions. These missions may include missions like the Falcon 9, which has already put hundreds of Starlink constellation satellites into orbit.
For development, SpaceX acquired two oil rigs for about $3.5 million and renamed the structures “Deimos” and “Phobos”. Those are inspired by Mars’ moons. Suggestively, the red planet is the main goal stipulated by the space agency. As detailed by Musk’s company, several ongoing projects will benefit from the floating spaceports. The platform is positioned within reach of the world’s main hubs, enabling the agency to operate an ultra-fast travel network using starships to transport people.
Ocean spaceport Deimos is under construction for launch next year https://t.co/WJQka399c7
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 30, 2021
In addition to intercontinental trips, interplanetary missions are cited as expectations of the million-dollar investment applied in the platforms. Deimos and Phobos are expected to become functional by the end of 2021. With spacecraft in the Starship series, they are expected to stage manned missions to the planet Mars much earlier than expected.
SpaceX managed to land its Starship Sn15 rocket early this month
For now, the Starship SN15 rocket has successfully landed safely on a platform and has shown promise for manned travel, prompting SpaceX to take an optimistic view and project missions towards the red planet by 2024. Held at a base in Texas, United States, SpaceX performed the flight test that takes the Starship to an altitude of 10 km, rotates the spacecraft to horizontal orientation. When it is close to the ground, the rockets are activated to allow the change from positioning the ship to vertical and landing safely with a smooth impact. And that’s exactly what happened.
After the “failures” of the SN4, SN8, SN10, and S11 prototypes, which were useful to improve the test carried out in May. Humanity is now a little closer to taking the first flights to Mars, which is the goal of Starship’s development by SpaceX.
Worth noting that SpaceX certainly has very interesting plans for its new spaceport. Apart from these very challenging plans, the company may also improve what is already established. The new spaceport may improve the deployment of satellites that power Starlink’s internet service. The company’s network should keep growing exponentially in the coming years.