Truck Carrying Explosives Seen Driving Into SpaceX Launch Site

Spaced Out

SpaceX's launch site in Texas received a very interesting delivery this week: a truck load of explosives.

The combustibles are most likely meant for an upcoming rocket launch, as reasonably surmised by the pseudonymous SpaceX watcher StarshipGazer, who photographed the delivery at the company's sprawling launch facility in Boca Chica, Texas.

That's not hypothetical: the company's mammoth Starship rocket is designed to self-destruct if something goes wrong, a capability it's used before.

And the report on explosives arriving at Starbase matches up with recent comments made by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials, who confirmed that SpaceX is planning a series of launches this year. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has also confirmed that the company is aiming for a launch in early March.

"They're looking at a pretty aggressive launch schedule this year," said FAA Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation Kelvin Coleman during a press conference, as reported by Ars Technica. "They're looking at, I believe, at least nine launches this year. That's a lot of launches."

Blast Radius

Starbase is an important component of Musk's space empire.

It's meant to be the staging ground for Musk's ambitious plans to send humans to Mars. A lot of that plan is riding on Starship, which the company has touted as the "world’s most powerful launch vehicle ever developed."

It remains to be seen when Starship becomes fully operational and capable of launching into space without blowing up. So far, the first orbital test flight in April ended in a fiery explosion. The second test flight in November ended in the rocket exploding over the Gulf of Mexico.

The rocket launches, the explosions from the test flights, and the build up of Starbase over the years has not just thrilled space fans but also officials in South Texas, who see Musk's SpaceX as a turbo-charged economic shot in the arm for the region.

But Starbase has also alarmed environmentalists, who are concerned about the impact on migratory birds and other wildlife in the area. With more launches in the near future, this fight between SpaceX and wildlife lovers is sure to heat up like a rocket.

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