Photos show pieces of SpaceX's SN11 scattered across Boca Chica after failed landing
Photos from a photographer show pieces of SpaceX’s SN11 rocket now scattered across Boca Chica after a launch and failed landing earlier this week.
The rocket launch on Tuesday was shrouded in fog; neither the launch nor the explosion could be seen clearly. Lab Padre’s YouTube camera shows how far the debris from the destroyed rocket scattered. The mud flats north of the launch site, a federal protected wildlife area, was covered in metal shards.
Photographer Pedro De La Fuente accessed the area Wednesday to see it for himself.
“From a distance, those metal sheets were shiny, [and] you could see a bunch of shiny things scattered all over the place,” De La Fuente said.
De La Fuente says staff was seen removing the debris and security was keeping an eye on the SpaceX property.
The SN11 explosion comes after the successful launches but failed landings of SN8 and SN9. SN10 landed in February, but blew up shortly after touching the ground.
The latest information from SpaceX says SN11 broke apart shortly after its landing burn was initiated.
Former Cameron County Judge and Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilbert Hinojosa says these continued explosions are a risk to the environment and public.
“Nobody’s given us any guarantee that this is not going to potentially affect the lives and safety of South Texans,” Hinojosa said. “We are one of the largest metropolitan areas in the state of Texas. The density in Brownsville and this area is high. Something like this could eventually affect the citizens of this state.”
Texas Parks and Wildlife says their federal partner, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is working with SpaceX to retrieve debris and “minimize impacts to wildlife.”
The Federal Aviation Administration also says it’s investigating this explosion as it has with the past rocket prototypes. SpaceX says its looking for new employees as momentum continues at this launch site.