The Teslarati article SpaceX’s third Block 5 rocket heads to Texas test site as launch marathon nears includes the image and caption below.
Is this an unused rocket body being transported for launch, wrapped in protective black plastic? Any reason for it to be black versus white or transparent? Would there be things that are meant to be hidden by opacity? Wouldn't heating from the hot Texas and Florida Sun be an issue with the choice of black?
Images from Teslarati; click for full size view.
above left: Caption: "Falcon 9 B1047 spotted in Florida just a short trip away from Cape Canaveral, where it will likely launch Telsat 19V in mid-July. (Reddit /u/fatherofzeuss) (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/8n950t/block_5_this_one_is_headed_south_parked_at_the/)".
right: Caption: "What is likely B1048 spotted heading to McGregor, Texas for static fire testing, June 11. (TeslaMotorsClub /u/nwdiver) (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/8q2lkd/core_spotting_booster_seen_heading_to_mcgregor/)".
Awkward, unwieldy https links appear explicitly in the captions; I've quoted without alteration.
UPDATE: Here's a photo of a Falcon 9 wrapped tightly in black plastic and exposed to the Sun. While it may be moving and cooled by air at the time of the photograph, presumably Sandra Bullock isn't driving to keep it in constant motion at all costs.
Reddit user INTAMIN1 spotted a Falcon 9 Booster Northbound between Hawthorne and Vandenberg on Jan. 22. (REDDIT /U/INTAMIN1)
EDIT: quick look to see how much heat we're talking about:
Let's do a back of the spherical cow calculation, assuming complete absorption of 3 hours of sunlight without any radiation or convective cooling (which is too extreme to be realistic) gives a temperature rise of about 100 K, assuming the good thermal conductivity of aluminum is sufficient to evenly spread the heat throughout the rocket's mass.
Conclusion: It's actually a substantial amount of heat and potential temperature rise, so the question "Why black?" is a reasonable one!
3 hours ~ 10800 s 3.6 x 45 ~ 162 m^2 10800 s x 162 m^2 x 1360 W/m^2 ~ 2.4 GigaJoules 25000 kg ~ 25000000 g aluminum Specific Heat ~ 0.9 J/g K 2400000000 J/(25000000 g x 0.9 J/gK) ~ 107 K change