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
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
Here's a shot from another angle. Looks like this rig is/was ENSCO 8500 in its previous life. @NASASpaceflight
Yeah been watching that for a while, here’s the water view
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.
Its been in Brownsville for a lot longer than since October of last year.
Correct, it arrived in Brownsville in 2016. If it is related to SpaceX, it was already in Brownsville when they bought it.
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
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.
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).
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
SpaceX got these rigs for $3.5 million apiece. The previous owner of the rigs had filed for bankruptcy.
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?
Hey, has Liberia signed the Outer Space Treaty? (I’m kidding, of course...)EDIT: Hmmm... no, they haven’t!!!
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.
[a] large, flat decked barge right next to Deimos.