A YouTuber documented entering SpaceX’s Starship rocket facilities in South Texas last month, roaming freely around the site. No security prevented him from wandering around the bottom of SN11, the 16-story rocket prototype that would launch and explode just a few days later.
The video was posted on a small YouTube channel called Loco VlogS, which is operated by ‘Caesar’. Caesar did not respond to multiple emails and DMs asking for comment.
For space lovers, SpaceX’s sprawling rocket campus in Texas, just a few miles north of the Rio Grande, is an enticing rocket museum that’s just out in the open and houses millions of dollars in technology – some of which SpaceX has thrown for the Air Force and NASA . It doesn’t have the sky-high walls or advanced security you’d expect from a company to protect sensitive (and potentially dangerous) missile hardware.
The development of Starship, the centerpiece of Elon Musk’s goal to transport people and cargo to the Moon and Mars, is supported in part by a $ 135 million NASA contract to mature the design under the Human Lunar Landing system program from the desk.
“NASA takes safety and security very seriously,” said Monica Witt, spokeswoman for the agency. “The Human Landing System contracts contain requirements for contractors to properly protect information, software and hardware. SpaceX has informed NASA that they have investigated this incident. “
Caesar entered the rocket site and apparently moved through SpaceX hardware and equipment with ease, recording close-ups of Starship SN11’s Raptor engines. According to another YouTube account that archived the video, the video received 5 likes and at least 100 dislikes, as well as a barrage of comments from pissed-off SpaceX fans, before removing the video. In a classic YouTube move, Caesar posted an apology video a few days later on April 1.
“Yes, it was wrong, yes it was illegal,” he said in the apology video. “But in my eyes, at that time of the moment, I didn’t really think about that … What went through my mind was, ‘Okay, I’ll never get this chance again.’ So I went for it. And, well, this happened. “
The Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates the launch and launch infrastructure for public safety reasons, said it was aware of the video and brought it to the attention of SpaceX “Maintaining the physical security of a launch facility is an important aspect of ensuring public safety,” said a spokesman. SpaceX did not respond to a request for comment.
The site has had similar security issues before. In 2019, a SpaceX fan was arrested after posting photos of himself near another Starship prototype on social media.