Rocketland

Worshippers of Elon Musk have flocked to the middle of nowhere in Texas to watch SpaceX’s attempts to build a space-worthy rocket — and to find friends:

For the first couple of months as a Texas resident, [Nic] lived in his car on the beach, where he had camped during his first stay. All he did was document Starbase activity. “I made a trip into Brownsville about once a day for a bathroom break and to grab some food and come back out. But I really tried to keep my trips to town at a minimum,” he said. “I didn’t want to go anywhere else.”

He claims he lost 100 pounds because he wasn’t eating — he kept forgetting to. “I remember one day I was eating a PB&J that I had made, and I was like, ‘When was the last time I ate? Was it yesterday? No, it wasn’t yesterday. It was Monday. No, it wasn’t Monday because Sunday evening was the last time I ate,’” he recalled, laughing.

While he was snapping photos, I asked Nic if it ever got redundant. From day to day, the site looks relatively the same as it did the day before. He is always looking for new angles. A bird might fly past at a certain height, a unique moment that he’s never seen before. Or it could have rained the night before, creating puddles where he can shoot moody reflections of the rockets.

But the downtime is worth it to him because he feels like he’s documenting history. “I think it’s once in a generation where you have the opportunity to do something so grand and so great.” He was talking about Mars and how we might get there.

Source: The Verge
Published: Sep 13, 2022
Length: 28 minutes (7,100 words)