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Screenshots below are from Brian May's new music video Brian May - New Horizons (Ultima Thule Mix) [Official Music Video] The beginning shows the launch of a rocket.

I can't tell for sure if this is just CGI or if it is actual footage, but I assume that it is 100% CGI.

Even so, does this rendering represent some actual use of copper on the outside of a launch vehicle? Is there some fact behind the fiction, or is this just weird and inexplicable?

(there are few other technical problems in the video as well)

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  • $\begingroup$ New Horizons launched on a Atlas V. Atlas V rocket bodies are copper colored. Is that what this question is about? spaceflightnow.com/atlas/av045/images/a5family_full.jpg $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Jan 1 at 13:45
  • $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble holy granola!!! Yes that is exactly what this question is about! $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jan 1 at 13:49
  • $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble I'm now very curious why it is like that. I was certain that it was a CGI goof! $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jan 1 at 13:50
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New Horizons launched on an Atlas V. Atlas V rocket bodies are copper colored.

enter image description here

from here

enter image description here

from here

Quick searches as to why turned up little conclusive information. There are unconvincing discussions on nasaspaceflight.com and reddit. The Atlas V User's Guide confirms that the tanks are made of aluminum, so the speculations about the color being some kind of anodized or other coating are likely correct, but I have not found any information about why it comes out coppery.

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    $\begingroup$ larger size: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap020916.html $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jan 1 at 14:05
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    $\begingroup$ a Faraday cage around the fuel tanks and not around the electronics (which are on the second stage) makes little sense. And the aluminium of the tank walls is already a Faraday cage. $\endgroup$ – Hobbes Jan 1 at 14:14
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    $\begingroup$ Too bad there is not really available information. I'll ask my former student who works on the CST-100 and see if he knows, but it might be a while. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Jan 1 at 14:31
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    $\begingroup$ I thought about Kapton as well but keeping it attached seems unlikely. The nsf thread has a post denying the chromate hypothesis. Both are weighted equally imho (zero, because unreferenced). $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Jan 1 at 17:49
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh it's copper covered with frost. Notice the white is only on the LOX tank. i.pinimg.com/originals/d8/4a/60/… $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Jan 2 at 4:30

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