Have you seen a vehicle working on a field even before its deliveries have officially started? Probably not. But this is not the case with Tesla’s Cybertruck.
One of the Tesla Cybertruck prototypes reached the SpaceX Starbase launch site in Boca Chica, Texas earlier yesterday morning. At first, it was seen entering Starbase with regular internal combustion engine (ICE) SUVs but later on, it was spotted towing Starship’s Raptor engines.
Tesla brought the Cybertruck to Starbase to either test its towing capabilities in real-world scenarios — or to get some cost-effective advertisement via local observer cameras operating 24/7 at the SpaceX launch facility in Texas. In my opinion, with this move, Tesla got the best of both worlds.
Starbase observer LabPadre was the first one to spot the Cybertruck’s entrance into Starbase yesterday. The following video shows the Cybertruck entering Starbase going towards the Raptor engine production area and just passing by the Straship Orbital Launch Mount (OLM).
Interestingly, in another video, the Cybertruck was seen hauling a Raptor engine. SpaceX instantly put the newly arrived Cybertruck to work, it was not treated like a guest at all. This Raptor was a vacuum-level engine installed only Starship also known as RVac in short. RVac engines are there to provide thrust to Starship in space.
A Raptor 2 engine weighs 3,527 lbs (1,600 kg). Along with the trailer, we can assume the total weight of the trailer + Raptor engine would be around 5,000 lbs. Cybertruck apparently pulled this load easily as we can see in the following video.
According to Tesla’s official specs, a Cybertruck has a towing capacity of over 14,000 lbs (6,350 kg). So, hauling a 5,000-pound trailer is a piece of cake for the Cybertruck muscles.
These videos from Starbase serve as a free marketing campaign for Tesla and also give Cybetruck reservation holders a glimpse into the electric pickup truck’s towing capabilities.
SpaceX on the other hand got to test some sustainable transportation and logistics from its sister company Tesla (TSLA). SpaceX has been criticized for not using zero-emissions transport for its ground operations despite its CEO Elon Musk being a big advocate of the proliferation of sustainable energy and transport.
In the future, SpaceX might replace all or most of the ICE pickup trucks at its launch sites and factories with Tesla’s Cybertruck which is way more efficient, powerful, and strong with a stainless steel body.
Both Giga Texas and Starbase are located in Texas, which also gives both companies a big cost and time-saving advantage for deploying Cybertrucks at Starbase.
Tesla is currently producing and testing new Cybertrucks at Giga Texas on a daily basis — a good sign that Tesla will most probably start deliveries this month. But we will have to wait for the confirmation that might come from Tesla CEO Elon Musk during the Q3 2023 Earnings Call later this month.
The team from NASASpaceFlight/YouTube also recorded footage of the Cybertruck at Starbase, Texas, let’s watch below. Good to see the Cybertruck helping Starship prepare for its next launch.
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