It’s no secret that SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk in 2002, is planning to land a Starship super-heavy rocket in the water. One of the first detailed references appeared during Mr. Mask’s speech in October 2017, in which he told the world about SpaceX’s plans to build cities on Mars and populate them with a million or more people.
During that presentation, a Starship video was presented (the project was then called Big F — ing Rocket), in which passengers took off from an ocean platform near New York and then landed 39 minutes later on a similar floating spaceport near Shanghai.
However, plans to actually build launch platforms seemed to be delayed for years due to lack of strength. Until this week: now the aerospace company has posted two vacancies for engineers to help design and build an operational marine missile system.
None of the job openings mention Starship, but both are located in Brownsville, Texas – this city is about 30 minutes west of the southeastern tip of the state, where SpaceX builds and tests prototype Starship rockets at the cosmodrome in Boca Chica Village. .
After journalists discovered these vacancies, Elon Musk commented on this in one of the tweets: “SpaceX is building super-heavy floating space ports for Mars, the Moon and hypersonic travel around the Earth.”
The concept of launches from the ocean platform is not new. For example, the Sea Launch company first launched an orbital-class Zenit rocket from such a platform in the Atlantic Ocean in March 1999 (this company was previously operated by Boeing, but is now owned by a Russian private company).
Although SpaceX has no experience launching rockets from oceanic platforms, the company has already planted more than four dozen first-stage boosters, the most expensive part of the launch system, on floating platforms. These boosters are then restored and reused, saving SpaceX millions of dollars. Elon Musk did not fail to emphasize that the Sea Launch is not capable of launching super-heavy missiles, and, especially, those that are being returned.
SpaceX recently won a NASA contract to turn Starship into a system for delivering people to the moon. The company also intends to deliver the Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa to the Earth’s natural satellite in 2023, and then in 2024 the first humans to Mars. These plans were confirmed by Elon Musk on June 4. Finally, the company strives to create with Starship a system of high-speed intercontinental flights. “There will be many test flights before transporting commercial passengers,” Mr Musk wrote on Tuesday. “The first test flights from Earth to Earth can take place in 2-3 years.”