Offshore Space Ports in TX

It looks as though man’s first mission to Mars might begin on an old oil rig.

SpaceX has acquired two platform drilling rigs off the coast of Brownsville, Texas to serve as future floating spaceports named Phobos and Deimos.

SpaceX has been touting plans for floating launch and landing sites for quite a while now. It would certainly address the problems of large blast areas and noise concerns near populated areas. These launch platforms will play a vital role in the frequency of launches that Space X hopes to reach with Starship.

These two rigs were sold to an undisclosed buyer in August 2020 when an offshore drilling company named Valaris filed for bankruptcy. As it turns out, the undisclosed buyer was SpaceX, who bought the rigs for $3.5 million… each.

A slew of new SpaceX job postings in South Texas confirm that work has already begun on the rigs, which also solidifies their strong commitment to Brownsville and its community.

Aside from noise concerns and blast radii, there are a few interesting theories why SpaceX might seek offshore launches and landings. Environmental reasons, safety in landings and potential malfunctions, and Maritime law.

Sea-based spaceports with an absence of international regulation could open an abundance of doors for Elon Musk & SpaceX. Offshore, these sites may be able to use the same loopholes of maritime law that we see in other commercial marine industries.

A story we’ll be following exclusively, here at Space Channel News.

As we get closer to humans on Mars, we’re finally going to hear from the planet itself.

NASA’s Perseverance Rover is equipped with specialized microphones to record actual sounds from the Red Planet. This is a first, and gives us a new dimension of situational awareness from afar.

When the Rover SuperCam lasers a rock, small amounts vaporizes into “plasma”,

The heat and vibration creates a shockwave that makes a popping sound. SuperCam’s camera and spectrometer can “read” the hot gas to reveal the chemical makeup of the vaporized rock. At the same time, the microphone hears the staccato “pop” as the laser strikes a rock several feet away from Perseverance.

The “pop” it makes revels the mass and makeup of the rock. The sound intensity reveals the relative hardness of the rocks, which can tell us more about their geological context. Whether the rock was formed in a lake or from wind-driven material, or how much pressure was involved in its formation. All without ever driving up and touching it.

This gives the rover the chance to hear the sounds of Mars, such as the high-pitched sound of sand grains over the surface, the wind whistling around the rover mast, and low-pitched howls of dust devils passing by.

The microphone will also record sounds from the rover, arm, coring rocks, and the wheels crunching against the surface. Even decent and landing.

In some cases, Rover audio can help diagnose the health of the rover’s internal mechanisms and instruments. Until now, tech like this was unheard of

Professor Sean O’Keefe on the Emerging Orbital Web

As space becomes increasingly congested with growing numbers of domestic and foreign commercial companies, researchers, universities, and military/intelligence agencies launching orbital assets, the risk of orbital collisions has grown astronomically.

National Academy of Public Administration Panel
Releases Report on Space Traffic Management
Panel Recommends Office of Space Commerce Leads Collaborative Federal Efforts; Urges Swift Action from Congress to Enact Appropriations and Authorizations

WASHINGTON, DC – A panel of the National Academy of Public Administration today released a Congressionally requested report for the U.S. Department of Commerce on commercial space traffic management (STM). The Panel recommends that the Department’s Office of Space Commerce (OSC) continue to lead collaborative federal efforts to improve the safety and sustainability of the space domain and bolster American leadership in space. The report also recommends that Congress act swiftly to enact appropriations and authorizations for OSC’s work, underscoring the urgent nature of the issue.

“The issue of space traffic management has become an urgent concern — one that the government must address in order to ensure orbital safety, as well as enhance U.S. commercial and research advances in this critical domain.”

Congress requested that the Academy provide an independent review of which civilian government agency would be best suited to lead and coordinate STM efforts to advance commercial and research uses of space outside of the national security sphere. The Academy panel report, Space Traffic Management: Assessment of the Feasibility, Expected Effectiveness, and Funding Implications of a Transfer of Space Traffic Management Functions, shows that four agency candidates were considered and that the Department of Commerce’s Office of Space Commerce was found to be the best suited to continue to lead a collaborative effort.

“Our Panel report identifies the federal organization best suited for this critical mission and calls for urgent action by Congress to authorize and appropriate adequate funding to it to accomplish the STM function,” said Terry Gerton, President and CEO of the Academy. “In addition, there is a clear emphasis throughout the report that the Office of

Space Commerce and the other agencies should work collaboratively and creatively across government and non-government sectors, both domestic and international, to shape effective strategies that will mitigate risks across the space ecosystem and achieve a safer space domain.”

The report notes that as a next step, “the Panel requests that the Congress enact, without delay, appropriations and any required authorities for OSC to build this critical capability with requisite personnel, office infrastructure, and authorities, as needed, to carry out the task of integrating whole of government capabilities to provide SSA and STM.”

The Academy’s five-member panel consisted of Panel Chair Michael Dominguez, a former senior U.S. Defense Department official who served as Acting Secretary of the Air Force and DoD Executive Agent for Space; Martin Faga, the former Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space; Jane Fountain, the Director of the National Center for Digital Government at the University of Massachusetts Amherst; Patrick Kennedy, a former senior U.S. State Department official; and Sean O’Keefe, the former Administrator of NASA and former Secretary of the U.S. Navy. All are Fellows of the National Academy of Public Administration.

About the National Academy of Public Administration

Chartered by Congress to provide non-partisan expert advice, the Academy is an independent, non-profit, and non-partisan organization established in 1967 to assist government leaders in building more effective, efficient, accountable, and transparent organizations. Learn more at

LAUNCH: Artemis Advances with ORION

An exclusive round table discussion covering Advances in the ORION Space Craft, Colorado space economy with special guest, astronaut James Shelton Voss

UFO’s and the Militarization of Space

As our orbiting infrastructure expands, the need to ensure satellites and other assets are protected is becoming a priority. NATO Secretary General (Jens Stoltenberg) recognizes space as an “operational domain” similar to air, land, sea and cyber. A reflection of its growing importance to global peace, security and prosperity.

Investing in UFO’s

Space Channel News sat down with Andrew Chanin, CEO of Procure ETF’s and creator of the first space-based ETF, UFO.

The Universal Appeal & Impact of Space

Space’s impact is nothing if not universal. Within our earthly bounds, we dream of the universe and the mysteries it holds. At night, we look up to the sky and feel a sense of wonder, infinite possibility, curiosity, and beauty. It’s no surprise that we find endless ways to incorporate space into our daily lives, or why interactions with space tend to leave such lasting impressions. We want to explore, we want to understand—we want to believe.

~ Robert Jacobson

Origins of the Procure ETF Dragon

Investing in other worldly opportunities is just the beginning. Space Channel News sat down with economic innovator, Andrew Chanin to learn more about UFO, the first space-based ETF on NASDAQ

Space is Open for Business

Capital might be the fuel to power astropreneurial efforts, but behind the capital is an intelligence that has vast options to weigh. What is unspoken by many terrestrial-focused economists and financial analysts is that the only true way to have endless growth is to incorporate space as part of the Earth’s economic influence and activity. Instead of arguing how space can help make Earth or life on Earth better, perhaps we should be thinking about how space could — and inevitably will — make Earth different.

NASA’s Radical Challenge to Light Up the Moon

Monsi C. Roman was appointed Program Manager of the NASA Centennial Challenges Program in June 2015. In this role Roman manages the day-to-day operations of the Agency Flagship Prizes and Competition program that currently includes 4 active challenge competitions and several challenges in formulation for a total Prize Purse of over $12 M. The program supports technology developments under the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) at NASA Headquarters in Washington D.C..  

In 2010 she was named the Project Manager for the development of the next generation of life support systems, including sensors, that could be used during a mission to Mars.  In that capacity, she was responsible for leading and coordinating the technology development work of 6 NASA Centers and over 30 NASA civil servants. In 2014  she was assigned to NASA Headquarters for a Professional Development Detail, supporting the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate Divisions of Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) and International Space Station where she supported the Agency in the areas related to the Journey to Mars. 

Ms. Roman holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a major in Microbiology from the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras and a Master of Science in Microbiology with a minor in Chemistry from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Ms. Roman has more than 65 technical publications in the areas of space microbiology, biofilm, microbial monitoring, Internal Active Thermal Control System (ITCS), life support systems, technology development and Project Management.  She was the chair for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Life Science and Systems Technical Committee from 2013 to 2015.  

Through her career, Ms. Roman has been an active participant in mentoring, outreach and many different educational events to increase interest in STEM areas.  She has worked with schools (teachers and students K-12), universities, co-workers and has helped find funding for internships in the life support testing area among other things.  She leverages her success as a NASA scientist and manager to develop partnerships with other government agencies, scientific institutes, industry and academia.  This also gives her the opportunity to promote the support and participation in STEM activities to the general community.

Ms. Roman has been the recipient of numerous NASA awards, including two of the most prestigious: NASA Space Flight Awareness Honoree Award and the NASA Silver Snoopy Award (an astronauts personal award, given to fewer than 1% of the NASA workforce, “for outstanding efforts that contribute to the success of human space flight missions”). In addition, she has received the Space Station Program Office Team Excellence Award, Distinguished Performance Awards and several NASA’s Service awards for technical work and outreach efforts.  She also received a NASA “Innovation Award” for: the implementation of innovative processes leading to the formulation and execution of multiple strategically aligned NASA Centennial Challenges Program competitions.

Ms. Roman lives in Huntsville, Al with her husband of 35 years, Jose Roman.  Mr. Roman is an Aerospace Engineer at NASA working on the Space Launch Services (SLS) program.  They have 3 adult sons.