Not gonna lie, we're kinda jealous.
Tile Me Up
About seven miles away from SpaceX's Starbase launch facility in Boca Chica, Texas, pieces of what appear to be heat shield tiles from the company's latest failed Starship launch appear to have been found washed up on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico.
A Twitter user who goes by the handle "Bubba Gucci" posted a series of photos of what look to be broken pieces of Starship heat shield tile that he said he found when walking along the shore on South Padre Island.
"Starship pieces are extremely [lightweight] and shapable by just the tossing of the waves in some cases," the user posted alongside a photo of him holding one of the alleged pieces. "Many pieces you find are unidentifiable if you don’t know what you’re looking for, but the foam has its own distinct tint. Maybe it has slightly yellowed in the sun."
SpaceX Starship edge pieces of tiles.
Showed up today on the beach on South Padre Island pic.twitter.com/X7m0tKiWB6
— Bubba Gucci (@bubbagucci) May 11, 2023
While SpaceX hasn't quite confirmed that those pieces or any others found after Starship's explosive 4/20 orbital test — and yes, we did ask the company for comment, but given that CEO Elon Musk is known for dissolving PR departments, we're not necessarily expecting an answer — prior reporting and the co-signing of University of Texas aerospace scientist Chris Combs leads us to believe that these are likely the real deal.
Just a few days after the intentionally-exploded Starship launch, the CollectSpace blog reported that people had already begun finding similar-looking pieces of debris on the same beach where Bubba Gucci found dozens of alleged tiles — and that SpaceX had issued a call for people to call a dedicated recovery hotline or get in contact via email in order to get the debris back to the company.
Building the case, video drone operator and SpaceX enthusiast Joe Tegtmeyer also tweeted about finding heat tile pieces, and in a follow-up post said he'd spoken with the company with information about where and when he'd found it.
To his end, Bubba Gucci says that as of this week, South Padre Island is veritably swimming in the probably Starship debris.
"There is no way to not find these," he tweeted. "They’re everywhere, up and down the island."
More on SpaceX: Elon Musk Says Starship Generated an Unexpected "Rock Tornado"