SpaceX team members were left confused and awkwardly unsure about how to respond when founder Elon Musk emerged from a darkened room on 4/21 with bloodshot eyes and a relaxed smile while asking if anyone had seen his Starship rocket.
The Starship launch had taken place, as scheduled, on 4/20, resulting in a successful liftoff before the rocket exploded in what SpaceX called a “rapid unscheduled disassembly.” Though it was still considered a successful test, team members were uncertain about how to break the news of the spacecraft’s destruction to Musk, who had been enjoying other 4/20 festivities. “We thought he was there to observe the launch,” said engineer John Insprucker, “but he disappeared into another room. I didn’t see him again until this morning. He seemed really chill, though. Just red-eyed and really hungry for some reason.”
Musk’s detractors were quick to celebrate the Starship’s destruction, but the billionaire entrepreneur maintained a very laid-back demeanor. “It’s cool, man,” Musk answered when asked for comment about his critics. “Trial and error is part of success. I just wish I knew where my rocket went. It’s 390 feet tall, so it’s difficult to misplace. Does anyone here have any Cheetos, by any chance?”
At publishing time, SpaceX engineers were planning to tell Musk that they had sent the Starship down the street to get it washed and offer him some more snacks to stall him until they could come up with a better explanation.