Elon Musk of SpaceX has confirmed the firm is seeking to develop floating spaceports that will launch rockets to Mars, the moon, or for hypersonic travel around Earth.
The admission came after a job listing on the SpaceX website for an “Offshore Operations Engineer” that would work with a team engineers to “design and build an operational offshore rocket launch facility.”
Elon Musk then confirmed the listing via Twitter. “SpaceX is building floating, superheavy-class spaceports for Mars, moon & hypersonic travel around Earth,” he tweeted on Tuesday.
It was last year when Musk first mooted the idea of floating spaceports, which he said would need to be located 20 miles offshore (because of noise levels).
The floating facilities would accessed through tunnels dug under the ocean (remember Musk also owns the The Boring Company).
The good news is that the role of Offshore Operations Engineer will be located in the meantime on terra firma, namely in Brownsville, Texas.
And when a Twitter user reportedly asked Musk if the offshore spaceports would essentially be refurbished oil rigs, and if Starship passengers will be ferried out to them via Hyperloop, Musk responded, “Pretty much.”
Last month SpaceX and NASA made history with the first manned flight to the International Space Station carried out by a private company.
The launch of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 booster rocket, carrying its Crew Dragon capsule, meant that the United States regained the ability to launch astronauts into space, following the cancellation of NASA’s space shuttle program in 2011.
Following the success of sending two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station, Musk reportedly declared the Starship rocket his ‘top priority.’
Space.com reported that in a company email, Musk urged SpaceX employees to accelerate progress on Starship ‘dramatically and immediately’.
‘Please consider the top SpaceX priority (apart from anything that could reduce Dragon return risk) to be Starship,’ Musk wrote in the email.
SpaceX of course is planning to send humans to Mars using a two-stage spacecraft composed of Starship (the passenger-carrying section) and the Super Heavy rocket booster.