This is what SpaceX’s massive new floating spaceport looks like

Deimos and Phobos

SpaceX bought two huge oil rigs to convert them into floating space ports for its Starship spacecraft bound for Mars. Named Phobos and Deimos, after the two Martian moons, SpaceX predicts that the massive structures will support launches of very large carriers.

Thanks to recently captured photos, we can now see the enormous scale of both platforms.

Shrouded in mist off the port of Pascagoula, Mississippi, Phobos peels off like a sore thumb. The derrick, the steel tower intended to contain the rig’s rig, rises above its surroundings – almost as if a spaceship is already perched on the rig, ready to take off.

As spotted by aerospace and launch photographer Jack Beyer, the two platforms were data nameplates according to their new names.

Floating spaceports

Converting oil rigs as a way to launch its spacecraft has been a part of SpaceX’s plans for some time.

“SpaceX is building super-heavy-class floating space ports for Mars, the Moon and hypersonic travel around the Earth,” CEO Elon Musk wrote in a June 2020 Tweet.

It’s still unclear when SpaceX will start work on converting the two platforms. But if its recent development of its Starship spacecraft is anything to say, we should expect to see changes to the oil rigs sooner rather than later.

Learn more about the platforms: SpaceX bought two huge oil rigs to use as floating launch pads

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