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SpaceX turns the oil rig into a launch site for Starship in Mississippi

  • SpaceX turns two oil rigs into offshore launch pads for its Starship rocket.
  • One of the platforms, called Phobus, is being built in Mississippi, The Sun Herald reported.
  • The oil rig was towed all the way from Texas to Pascagoula, said ST Engineering’s vice president of operations.
  • See more stories on the Insider business page.

SpaceX is building an offshore launch site for its Starship rocket in Mississippi, The Sun Herald announced for the first time on Thursday.

Elon Musk’s space company bought two oil rigs off the coast of Texas earlier this year with the intention of turning them into ocean spaceports. One of the platforms, Phobos, is now located in Pascagoula, a town in Jackson County, Mississippi, according to The Sun Herald.

It is not clear where the other launch site, Deimos, will be located. The ocean platforms from which the Star Ship will explode are named after the moons of Mars.

Shipbuilding and repair company ST Engineering Halter Marine & Offshore Inc. is working on a six-month project to remove drilling equipment from the Phobus oil rig.

“SpaceX is here in Pascagoula,”

; Jeffrey Herman, senior vice president of operations for ST Engineering, told The Sun Herald.

Herman said the oil rig was withdrawn from Galveston, Texas, after SpaceX called ST Engineering to ask how much the company would charge to remove the drilling equipment from the oil rig.

“Obviously our number was better than our competitors and they brought it to us,” he said.

Herman could not go into more details about the project due to a non-disclosure agreement with SpaceX, The Sun Herald reported.

“This has the potential to be huge,” Herman said.

On May 30, Musk said Deimos was under construction and could start work next year.

Both Deimos and Phobus will serve as a platform for the launch and landing of the SpaceX spacecraft, a spacecraft that Musk wants to send to Mars. This will be the first time Starship takes off from an ocean launch site.

These Starship offshore spaceports follow the success of SpaceX’s ocean-going drones, including “Just Read the Instructions” and “Of course I Still Love You,” which allowed the Falcon 9 to rebuild its first stages in the Atlantic.

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