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    Re: SpaceX Starlink launch: photo celestial
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2020 Jan 11, 18:57 -0800

    David, just noticed this. You asked:
    "what’s the tower/rocket, which is also reflected in the water,just to the left of the Pad 40 Launch Point"

    I'm not sure, but I have been assuming that this is the first stage re-entry burn. The color is right, and it's lined up rather nicely with the outbound arc of the rocket burn. You have seen video of Falcon 9 rockets coming in for landing, right? It's their best trick, and it's quite photogenic --never mind the economics! On this launch, since the payload was heavy, the first stage landed on a SpaceX "drone ship" (stabilized barge) a few hundred miles out in the Atlantic. To make the landing, the nearly empty rocket stage has to make a few burns. The first one is long, and I assume it's visible in the distance like this. The second stage would also have been still burning at that time, but well out of the atmosphere and therefore much fainter.

    Frank Reed


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