A South Texas YouTuber named Caesar trespassed on the site, recorded himself strolling through and uploaded the video — or, as some might say, incriminating evidence — to his channel for all to see. The video was soon taken down, but re-uploaded by another YouTuber who had the prescience to save the vid for posterity.
Caesar runs a small channel, Loco Vlogs, which reminded me one of my favorite sentient robots, Johnny Five. He casually made his way through the rocket campus before getting right under the SN11, or Starship Prototype Serial Number 11, according to CNBC. He recorded footage of its engines and then excitedly ran off the site.
But here’s what baffles me, and what I think is the big problem in these kind of break-ins: The area is referred to as a StarBase by SpaceX but it looks more like a construction site. I don’t understand why this place has suddenly “...become a mecca for fans of SpaceX,” as Business Insider describes.
What’s the big deal here? It’s a rocket, sure, but it’s devoid of the context. This is just a static, phallic object surrounded by lifts and light towers that you would encounter on any worksite. Why would someone risk arrest by breaking into what is essentially a hard-hat site?
More important, why doesn’t SpaceX do better than a chainlink fence for security? Most construction sites have tighter security than this multibillion dollar rocket. It’s obvious how easily anyone can waltz in and screw around with the prototype. What if the next person to pull this off isn’t some harmless YouTube stan?
Caesar has not been arrested and a few days after his stroll beneath the Starship, he apologized in another video, saying, “I’m never gonna do a crime like that ever again.”
Trespassers at StarBase have been arrested before. The Verge cites a 2019 report from Business Insider that detailed a similar break-in. A man from California was asked to turn himself in after posting photos of himself at the Boca Chica site to his Facebook page.
Both SpaceX and Cameron County pressed charges, and the man spent an evening in jail before posting a $4,000 bond, according to that report. Please, save yourself the trouble: If you must witness a SpaceX Rocket disintegrating, do it from a distance, maybe from the very decent beach in South Padre.