At some point, we have to start asking if Elon Musk is a for-real supervillain. The head of SpaceX (for the purposes of this article) tweeted over the weekend that construction has started on Deimos, the first SpaceX ocean spaceport.
Who has an ocean spaceport? Honestly? Elon Musk, apparently. And what is it? It’s an offshore facility that the private space agency intends to use to launch and land its Starship rockets.
SpaceX at sea
Ocean spaceport Deimos is under construction for launch next year https://t.co/WJQka399c7
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 30, 2021
Which is a really great idea, in theory. In the event of a crash or an explosion, having the event take place over the sea is far safer than land. Far fewer people in the firing line, for one. Sure, there’s more of a mess to clean up but the potential human cost is lower.
Deimos is one of two ocean-based launch and landing platforms — the other is called Phobos. SpaceX purchased two decommissioned oil rigs off the coast of Texas earlier this year that it’s currently converting into launchpads. Musk says that Starships could launch from then as soon as next year, but we reckon that first, we’ll have to see the results from Starship’s more ambitious test flight, set to take place later this year.
Header image: Kendall Dirks (Twitter)