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A YouTuber recorded himself entering SpaceX’s Starship rocket facilities in south Texas last month, freely sauntering on site. No security stopped him from wandering round the underside of SN11, the 16-story-tall rocket prototype that might launch and explode just a couple of days later.
The video was posted to a little YouTube channel called Loco VlogS, which is travel by “Caesar.” Caesar didn’t answer multiple emails and DMs posing for comment.
For space enthusiasts, SpaceX’s sprawling rocket campus in Texas just a couple of miles north of the Rio Grande may be a tantalizing museum of rocketry just laying call at the open, housing many dollars worth of tech — a number of which SpaceX has pitched to the Air Force and NASA. It doesn’t have the towering walls or advanced security one might expect a corporation to possess for safeguarding sensitive (and potentially dangerous) rocket hardware.
The development of Starship, the centerpiece of Elon Musk’s goal to ferry humans and cargo to the Moon and Mars, is aided partially by a $135 million NASA contract to assist mature its design under the agency’s Human Lunar Landing systems program.
“NASA takes safety and security very seriously,” said Monica Witt, spokeswoman for the agency. “The Human Landing System contracts include requirements for the contractors to appropriately safeguard information, software, and hardware. SpaceX notified NASA that they investigated this incident.”
Caesar entered the rocket site and seemingly moved around SpaceX hardware and equipment with ease, recording closeups of Starship SN11’s Raptor engines. The video garnered 5 likes and a minimum of 100 dislikes, also as a barrage of comments from pissed-off SpaceX fans, before he deleted it, consistent with a special YouTube account that archived the video. during a classic YouTube move, Caesar posted an apology video a couple of days afterward April 1st.
“Yes it had been wrong, yes it had been illegal,” he said within the apology video. “But in my eyes, therein the time of moment, I didn’t really believe that… What went through my mind was, ‘Okay, I’m never gonna get this chance again.’ So I went for it. And, well, this happened.”
The Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates launches and launches infrastructure for the sake of public safety, said it had been conscious of the video and brought it to SpaceX’s attention. “Maintaining the physical security of a launch facility is a crucial aspect of ensuring public safety,” a spokesman said. SpaceX didn’t answer an invitation for comment.
The site has had similar security issues before. In 2019, a SpaceX fan was arrested after posting pictures of himself near another Starship prototype to social media.