A YouTuber recorded himself entering SpaceX’s Starship rocket facilities in South Texas last month and slimming down on the spot. No security prevented him from wandering around the underside of SN11, the 16-story rocket prototype that would launch and explode just a few days later.
The video was sent to a small YouTube channel called Loco VlogS, which is operated by “Caesar.” Caesar did not respond to multiple emails and DMs requesting comment.
For space enthusiasts, SpaceX’s extensive rocket campus in Texas, just a few miles north of the Rio Grande, is an exciting rocket museum that is just out in the open and houses millions of dollars worth of technology ̵
The development of Starship, the centerpiece of Elon Musk’s goal of ferrying humans and goods to the Moon and Mars, is supported in part by a $ 135 million NASA contract to help mature its design under the agency’s Human Lunar Landing system program.
“NASA takes safety and security very seriously,” said Monica Witt, a spokeswoman for the agency. The Human Landing System contracts include requirements for contractors to properly protect information, software and hardware. SpaceX informed NASA that they were investigating this incident. ”
Caesar entered the rocket site and apparently moved around lightly on SpaceX hardware and equipment, recording close-ups of Starship SN11’s Raptor engines. The video received 5 likes and at least 100 antipathies, as well as a thrill of comments from outraged SpaceX fans before deleting it, according to another YouTube account that archived the video. In a classic YouTube feature, Caesar posted an apology video a few days later on April 1st.
“Yes it was wrong, yes it was illegal,” he said in the apology video. “But in my eyes, I was not really thinking at that moment … What went through my mind was, ‘Okay, I’ll never get this opportunity again.’ So I went for it. And well, this happened. ”
The Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates launches and launch infrastructure for public safety reasons, said it was aware of the video and brought it to SpaceX’s attention.. “Maintaining physical security in a launch facility is an important aspect of ensuring public safety,” a spokesman said. 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 pictures of himself near another Starship prototype on social media.