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Since SpaceX now does not repaint or clean off the sides of the first stage booster prior to reuse, does this make the soot covered stage heavier or lighter? And is this difference in weight negligible or does it significantly impact the performance of first stage flight?

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It is demonstrable that it does not affect performance, since SpaceX is not bothering to get it all off.

No doubt it has a minor mass penalty, but not enough to matter thus meeting the definition of negligible.

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  • $\begingroup$ I saw math previously that estimated < than a few hundred kilograms added mass, IIRC. Google is failing me at the moment to reconfirm that, but that's certainly a negligible mass on the first stage. $\endgroup$
    – Saiboogu
    Mar 30 '18 at 19:25

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