A YouTuber recorded himself in SpaceX’s Starship rocket facility in South Texas last month, slimming down on the spot. No safety prevented him from wandering around on the underside 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, run by “Caesar.” Caesar did not respond to further emails and DMs requesting comment.
For space enthusiasts, SpaceX’s wild 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 transporting humans and cargo to the Moon and Mars, is helped in part by a $ 135 million NASA contract to help mature the 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 contracts for the Human Landing System include requirements for contractors to secure information, software and hardware properly. SpaceX notified NASA that they were investigating this incident. ”
Caesar entered the rocket site and apparently moved easily around SpaceX hardware and equipment, registering close-ups of Starship SN11’s Raptor engines. The video received 5 likes and at least 100 dislikes, as well as a lot of comments from angry SpaceX fans, before he deleted it, according to another YouTube account that archived the video. In a classic YouTube clip, 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 thinking at that very 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 the physical security of 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.