YouTuber has been spotted entering SpaceX’s Starship rocket facilities in south Texas last month, moving freely around the location. No security prevented him from wandering the underside of the SN11, a 16-meter prototype rocket that would launch and explode just days later.
The video was posted on a small YouTube channel called Loco VlogS, run by “Caesar”. Caesar did not respond to multiple emails and DMs asking for comment.
For space enthusiasts, SpaceX’s rocket campus in Texas, just a few miles north of Rio Grande, is an attractive open-air rocket museum that houses millions of dollars worth of technology – some of which SpaceX handed over to the Air Force and NASA. There are no high walls or advanced security that a company could expect to protect sensitive (and potentially dangerous) missile hardware.
The development of Starship, Elon Musk’s central goal to transport humans and cargo to the Moon and Mars, is partly aided by NASA’s $ 135 million contract to help mature its design as part of the agency’s lunar landing system program.
“NASA takes safety and security very seriously,” said Monica Witt, a spokeswoman for the agency. “Human landing system contracts include requirements for suppliers to adequately protect information, software and hardware. SpaceX has informed NASA that they have investigated this incident. “
Caesar entered the rocket location and seemingly moved around SpaceX hardware and equipment with ease, capturing close-ups of the Starship SN11 Raptor engine. The video garnered 5 likes and at least 100 dislikes, as well as a plethora of comments from outraged SpaceX fans, before deleting it, according to another YouTube account that archived the video. In a classic move on YouTube, Caesar posted an apologetic video a few days later, on April 1.
“Yes, it was wrong, it was illegal,” he said in an apologetic video. “But in my eyes, at that point in time, I wasn’t really thinking about it … What went through my head was, ‘Okay, I’ll never get this chance again.’ That’s what I accepted. Well, this happened. “
The Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates the launch and launch of infrastructure for public safety, said it was familiar with the video and drew attention to SpaceX. “Maintaining the physical security of the 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 in the past. In 2019, a SpaceX fan was arrested after he posted his pictures on social media near another Starship prototype.