Author Topic: Deimos and Phobos - offshore Starship launch platforms  (Read 398336 times)

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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See these prior threads for additional discussion

A Super Heavy (BFR) Ocean Launch Platform:
  https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=46770

Speculation on sea launching facilities for SuperHeavy/Starship:
  https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=49026.0

Fascinating reading, but now it's actually happening!
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https://twitter.com/thejackbeyer/status/1351331758084661252

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I've been exploring around the Port of Brownsville while waiting for Starship testing and found an oil rig that appears to be named Deimos, after one of the moons of Mars! Based on job postings and @elonmusk's tweets, I'm willing to bet that SpaceX is involved. @NASASpaceflight

twitter.com/thejackbeyer/status/1351332065283895297

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These two photos were taken months apart - you can see the sign is a recent addition. Could this be one of the floating, Superheavy class spaceports that @elonmusk has mentioned SpaceX is building? @NASASpaceflight

https://twitter.com/thejackbeyer/status/1351348362944126977

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Here's a shot from another angle. Looks like this rig is/was ENSCO 8500 in its previous life. @NASASpaceflight

https://twitter.com/spacepadreisle/status/1351348587842691074

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Yeah been watching that for a while, here’s the water view
« Last Edit: 01/22/2021 05:13 pm by Lar »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Deimos and Phobos - offshore Starship launch platforms
« Reply #1 on: 01/19/2021 01:11 am »
https://twitter.com/13ericralph31/status/1351350687376896000

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Some fun details: Known as "ENSCO 8500," owner Valaris filed for bankruptcy in Aug 2020 and sold this rig in Q3. It then arrived in Port of Brownsville in Oct 2020 bearing the name "DEIMOS". Still unlikely but those are certainly the right circumstances for SpaceX to be involved.

twitter.com/thejackbeyer/status/1351350980177231879

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Its been in Brownsville for a lot longer than since October of last year.

https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1351351175350636544

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Correct, it arrived in Brownsville in 2016. If it is related to SpaceX, it was already in Brownsville when they bought it.

Offline daveglo

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Re: Deimos and Phobos - offshore Starship launch platforms
« Reply #2 on: 01/19/2021 01:36 am »

Offline AC in NC

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Re: Deimos and Phobos - offshore Starship launch platforms
« Reply #3 on: 01/19/2021 01:42 am »
FWIW:  Brownsville "Vessel Arrival Chart" for Oct 10th 2020 nominally designated as with the Dix Agency

https://www.portofbrownsville.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Vessel-Arrival-Chart-10-10-2020.pdf
http://www.dixshipping.com/dix-agency.html



Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Deimos and Phobos - offshore Starship launch platforms
« Reply #4 on: 01/19/2021 02:11 am »
https://twitter.com/thejackbeyer/status/1351360399006904323

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Another bit of evidence for the pile - the primary cranes on Deimos/ENSCO8500 are seatrax S90s. The primary crane on the offshore crane operator job posting from SpaceX is seatrax s90s. @NASASpaceflight

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Deimos and Phobos - offshore Starship launch platforms
« Reply #5 on: 01/19/2021 03:18 am »
Looking into it further the buyer has options to buy more ENSCO8500 series platforms and builder for the fleet was Keppel FELS Limted. Can only find through 8506 being completed which had an accident and caused the operators bankruptcy but orders with Keppel go up to 14 with last delivered in 2012. Searching more in the morning.

8500 Standardized Series specifications:
http://s1.q4cdn.com/651804090/files/Documents/Brochures/ENSCO%25208500SeriesBrochure_web.pdf
« Last Edit: 01/19/2021 03:34 pm by russianhalo117 »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Deimos and Phobos - offshore Starship launch platforms
« Reply #6 on: 01/19/2021 07:27 am »
https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1351442201134264321

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Following up on @thejackbeyer's find, I can confirm that Deimos and Phobos are the names of two oil rigs purchased by SpaceX – likely for conversion to support Starship operations.

ENSCO 8500 and ENSCO 8501 were the previous names of the rigs. They are nearly identical twins.

twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1351442452410863617

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BOOM!

https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1351443174359670786

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Both rigs were purchased by Lone Star Mineral Development LLC which is either a SpaceX subsidiary or a subsidiary of a company that SpaceX is leasing the rigs from (like SpaceX does with the droneships).

twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1351443395412074498

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Lone Star Mineral Development LLC was incorporated just before the rigs were purchased, so if I had to bet, I believe this is a SpaceX subsidiary, but maybe someone else can confirm.

https://opencorporates.com/companies/us_tx/0803663368

https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1351445654195765250

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SpaceX got these rigs for $3.5 million apiece. The previous owner of the rigs had filed for bankruptcy.
« Last Edit: 01/19/2021 07:29 am by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline Oersted

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Re: Deimos and Phobos - offshore Starship launch platforms
« Reply #7 on: 01/19/2021 07:49 am »
I love the lean, cheapskate operations of SpaceX! They basically got those oil rigs for free, just as they have scrounged so much other hardware basically for free, huge tanks, etc, etc.

Elon (now the worlds' richest man, remember) is pushing through a company ethic completely different from that seen in bloated legacy aerospace companies. Seemingly very different from that seen at Blue Origin too. He keeps his staff on edge, "hungry" almost, and that's why they perform so much better. If you are not under limitations of time and money you will never work effectively.

- Regarding the names of the rigs, I wonder whether the fact that they were given "serious" names, contradicting the usual flippant SpaceX nomenclature, indicates that they will indeed play a crucial role in Starship operations. I'm thinking launches and not just landings. However, are we SURE that they will be launch platforms? Any confirmed info out there?
« Last Edit: 01/19/2021 07:58 am by Oersted »

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Deimos and Phobos - offshore Starship launch platforms
« Reply #8 on: 01/19/2021 07:59 am »
Hey, has Liberia signed the Outer Space Treaty? ;) (I’m kidding, of course...)

EDIT: Hmmm... no, they haven’t!!!
« Last Edit: 01/19/2021 08:01 am by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Deimos and Phobos - offshore Starship launch platforms
« Reply #9 on: 01/19/2021 08:31 am »
Regarding the names of the rigs, I wonder whether the fact that they were given "serious" names, contradicting the usual flippant SpaceX nomenclature, indicates that they will indeed play a crucial role in Starship operations. I'm thinking launches and not just landings. However, are we SURE that they will be launch platforms? Any confirmed info out there?

I think it’s an educated guess at this point that they are launch platforms. If they were purely for landing then I’d expect something more (drone?) ship-like, or as Blue Origin are doing for New Glenn. Large semi-submersible rigs IMHO seem like what’s needed for launch.

Offline su27k

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Re: Deimos and Phobos - offshore Starship launch platforms
« Reply #10 on: 01/19/2021 08:40 am »
Here's a Taxes Railroad Commission case where Lone Star Mineral Development LLC bought or leased a gas well (LA PITA (GAS ID NO. 264705) LEASE, WELL NO. 3, not sure if it's the one in the old gas well site). The officer for Lone Star Mineral Development LLC is listed as Johnsen, Bret, who is of course SpaceX's CFO. This confirms Lone Star Mineral Development LLC is indeed a SpaceX company.

Offline Fizrock

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Re: Deimos and Phobos - offshore Starship launch platforms
« Reply #11 on: 01/19/2021 09:16 am »
2 things I've discovered of note, one is rampant speculation: 
 
1. A road connecting highway 4 (which runs through Boca) to the port of Brownsville is under construction. This road comes out right near where the rig is.
 
https://www.portofbrownsville.com/construction-begins-for-south-port-connector-road/   
 
The rig is just off to the right in the image provided in that article. 
 
2. I couldn't help but notice this large, flat decked barge right next to Deimos. It looks like a whole bunch of other barges welded together to make one, massive, flat surface. It even looks like the gaps were recently filled in between the pieces. Is it possible that this is ASOG? I'd have no idea how to check who owns it. 
 
edit: It would seem it's just a drydock used for taking oil rigs out of the water.
« Last Edit: 01/19/2021 06:39 pm by Fizrock »

Offline Cheapchips

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Re: Deimos and Phobos - offshore Starship launch platforms
« Reply #12 on: 01/19/2021 09:27 am »
Hey, has Liberia signed the Outer Space Treaty? ;) (I’m kidding, of course...)

EDIT: Hmmm... no, they haven’t!!!

:)

I didn't know, since I'm generally into ships, that Liberia are the 2nd biggest registrar of ships in the world. It's a nice source of income for what's a small country.

It's cheap, easier and has less regulation to have vessel registered with Libera.  It means you're not tied to all US laws when outside of US waters.

Offline loekf

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Re: Deimos and Phobos - offshore Starship launch platforms
« Reply #13 on: 01/19/2021 09:30 am »
2 things I've discovered of note, one is rampant speculation: 
 
1. A road connecting highway 4 (which runs through Boca) to the port of Brownsville is under construction. This road comes out right near where the rig is.
 
https://www.portofbrownsville.com/construction-begins-for-south-port-connector-road/   
 
The rig is just off to the right in the image provided in that article. 
 
2. I couldn't help but notice this large, flat decked barge right next to Deimos. It looks like a whole bunch of other barges welded together to make one, massive, flat surface. It even looks like the gaps were recently filled in between the pieces. Is it possible that this is ASOG? I'd have no idea how to check who owns it.

Isn't that barge a dock ? So to lift vessels incl. oil rigs from out of the water ?

I tried Ship Finder and Vessel Finder, but there's nothing to be seen in the Brownsville harbour. Mostly fishing trawlers.

Offline sdsds

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Re: Deimos and Phobos - offshore Starship launch platforms
« Reply #14 on: 01/19/2021 09:36 am »
[a] large, flat decked barge right next to Deimos.
In addition, completing the triad of vessels is Drill Ship Paragon DPDS3. MarineTraffic.com isn't particularly helpful regarding the status of this vessel:
https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/details/ships/shipid:753246/mmsi:-5315474/imo:5315474/vessel:PARAGON_DPDS3
She was "heading to PUERTO RICO, ... 4 years, 5 months ago" and is now "Status: Decommissioned or Lost." But perhaps someone has better access to data on her?

The primary asset she brings to the visual mix is an (additional) helipad....
— 𝐬𝐝𝐒𝐝𝐬 —

Offline loekf

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Re: Deimos and Phobos - offshore Starship launch platforms
« Reply #15 on: 01/19/2021 09:46 am »
No that drill ship arrived in Brownsville already three years ago, supposedly to be scrapped:

https://www.portofbrownsville.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/12-12-2017-1.pdf

It has an interesting story. I was built in the Netherlands and started as a freighter. Then it was converted to a drilling ship in Japan. 4-5 years ago it was part of a company called Paragon, which entered chapter 11.
« Last Edit: 01/19/2021 10:15 am by loekf »

Offline geza

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Re: Deimos and Phobos - offshore Starship launch platforms
« Reply #16 on: 01/19/2021 10:10 am »
So, it has arrived. We have been discussing the issue of offshore launch platfoms for years...

Questions arise:
[1] Where is Phobos? Is it the flat barge?
[2] Deimos is moored at the Norther bank of the channel, while SS will arrive from the South.
[3] Will they dismantle the tower and replace it with the launch pad? Or the tower will be utilized for the crane? If the first, can the existing Seetrax cranes reach high enough?

Offline Jansen

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Re: Deimos and Phobos - offshore Starship launch platforms
« Reply #17 on: 01/19/2021 10:19 am »
There were a lot of posts about the Deimos oil drilling area in the Gulf, and how the rig was named Deimos for a long time. So I was pretty skeptical at first.

But the following tweet is making me a believer.

https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1351457811784376322
« Last Edit: 01/19/2021 10:21 am by Jansen »

Offline Laszlo Jamf

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Re: Deimos and Phobos - offshore Starship launch platforms
« Reply #18 on: 01/19/2021 10:23 am »
Phobos moored at Pelican Island, Galveston:

« Last Edit: 01/19/2021 10:32 am by Laszlo Jamf »

Online pyromatter

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Re: Deimos and Phobos - offshore Starship launch platforms
« Reply #19 on: 01/19/2021 10:28 am »

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