Although this seems to apply to older launch vehicles, many of them have checkerboard patterns on the stages and/or interstages. Is it cosmetic or functional? If functional, then what is the purpose? Fiduciary marking for camera tracking? Thermal control? Some kind of colour scheme for construction and assembly purposes?

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    $\begingroup$ Someone beat you on this one. $\endgroup$ – kim holder Nov 11 '15 at 23:16
  • $\begingroup$ Ah yes, I searched for "checkerboard" before asking but should have added "pattern". Thanks! $\endgroup$ – Brian Lynch Nov 11 '15 at 23:18
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    $\begingroup$ I found it by searching for 'markings'. $\endgroup$ – kim holder Nov 11 '15 at 23:43

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