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AIte infrastructure for Mars project: SpaceX buys oil rigs at a bargain price

While SpaceX technicians are feverishly preparing the next test flight of a prototype for the Mars and Moon rocket Starship on the test site in Boca Chica, Texas, CEO Elon Musk is preparing the next coup in the nearby port of Brownsville: A decommissioned oil platform is anchored there , and on this the lettering “Deimos” was applied – the name of one of the two Mars moons.

SpaceX chief financial officer involved in buyers

For SpaceX observers like @thejackbeyer on Twitter one thing is clear: a new floating launch platform for the Starship is being built here. That has not yet been confirmed with certainty. But Musk has been talking about using platforms on the high seas as take-off and landing platforms for years. Because on land, the massive Starship system, after all the largest rocket ever built, would require large safety and buffer zones, not least because of the considerable noise pollution.

In July 2020 it was also announced that the company Lone Star Mineral Development LLC had bought two oil rigs from the bankruptcy-threatened drilling rig operator Valaris – each for $ 3.5 million, i.e. about one hundredth of what the platforms would cost in theirs Manufacturing cost in 2008. If you take a closer look at Lone Star Mineral Development, you will also see that SpaceX CFO Bret Johnsen is involved.

The application of the “Deimos” logo in the port of Brownsville is therefore a clear indication for Nasa Spaceflight that the conversion of the platforms is now beginning. The other platform is in the Texan port of Galveston and is to be named after the second Mars moon “Phobos”. SpaceX still needs specialists for the conversion. Tesla boss Musk’s second billionaire company has been advertising vacancies since last year.

Next Starship flight is getting closer

Meanwhile, the next Starship prototype launch in Boca Chica appears to be imminent. After the last spectacular flight of Starship SN8 in December, which only failed to land, the prototype SN9 is the next candidate. Some technical problems in the last few weeks delayed the test flight, but last week the last engine tests (static fire) started. Another flight could follow in a few days.

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