Looking at this cropped section of the screenshot described below, this is what I think I see:
- A: Shadow from the leg support on the right, but not the left.
- B: Scorch marks?
- C: Scorch marks?
- D: Shadow of the Falcon 9 first stage?
At an estimated time of
UTC 2017-06-23 19:19 and a roughly estimated location of
29°N, 76°W, the sun would have had an elevation of about 60° above the horizon, and an azimuth of about 267°, or nearly due West.
Considering that the seas look incredibly calm, and the engines (nacelles?) should be well below the surface, the sudden appearance of rough water and spray on the left side moments before landing is probably the result of exhaust from the rocket just outside the camera's view.
I can imagine two possibilities.
- The last few seconds of the final approach was roughly from the East, not the West. If so, was this a planned maneuver or is this just a tiny overshoot in an otherwise heroic three engine landing?
- The last few seconds of the final approach was indeed roughly from the West as one might expect, or was vertical, but the stage was tilted substantially so that the bottom swung out towards the west and stirred up the water and scorched the west side of the landing surface.
Is it known which is a better understanding of the last few seconds, or if a different description is needed?
above: cropped/annotated sections from screen shots below from the SpaceX BulgariaSat-1 Launch Webcast.