This spray seemed to be there throughout the entirety of the Stage 2 burn but was especially visible once Stage 2 cutoff had happened.

As that nozzle uses radiant cooling, it can't be cooling fluid, so what could it be?

enter image description here

Video here.

  • $\begingroup$ I think it is the gas generator exhaust and is being used to vent residual fuel. But I cannot find confirmation of that yet. (Also noticed it). This was a very light payload so probably lots of fuel left in second stage to vent before reentering. $\endgroup$ – geoffc Feb 23 '18 at 13:29
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    $\begingroup$ I've asked a couple of related questions about this thruster/exhaust/whatever it is before - I'm unaware of an answer on this site yet that categorically states precisely what it is with sources. $\endgroup$ – James Thorpe Feb 23 '18 at 13:54
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think it can be a thruster, as it was there all through the entire 2nd stage burn. $\endgroup$ – Rory Alsop Feb 23 '18 at 13:54
  • $\begingroup$ @geoffc They shouldn't be venting much before all satellites get deployed imho. And they might need some fuel for the deorbit burn. So probably not venting all residual fuel. But def looks like some purge at least. $\endgroup$ – jkavalik Feb 23 '18 at 16:33
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think that's the gas generator exhaust: the GG points down, not radially, and the exhaust sits higher. $\endgroup$ – Hobbes Mar 21 '18 at 12:46

The thing circled in the photo is a LOX vent. The puffy white snow-like stuff is solid oxygen. It was described at T+1.05:25 in the Iridium-6/GRACE-FO webcast.

| improve this answer | |
  • $\begingroup$ Puffy white object? Where is that? $\endgroup$ – Rory Alsop May 23 '18 at 17:28
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, poor phrasing. Clarified. $\endgroup$ – Bob Jacobsen May 23 '18 at 17:53
  • $\begingroup$ Ah - brilliant. I was hunting through the video for a solid object :-) $\endgroup$ – Rory Alsop May 23 '18 at 18:10

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