On the YouTube videos of SpaceX launch operations, they show altitude and velocity for the 2nd stage throughout the flight, but after stage separation I have never seen telemetry displayed for the landing 1st stage. Is there any technical reason for this or is it just a policy decision?

Personally, I would find it really interesting to see this information displayed too

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    $\begingroup$ And some crazy people have screen scraped the video to get velocity/altitude data and graph it. Be nice to have that for landings as well. $\endgroup$
    – geoffc
    Commented Jun 27, 2019 at 23:34

1 Answer 1


I think it's for monitoring the mission performance, given that the main mission is to deliver the payload into correct orbit. Recovering the first stage is always of lesser importance. Maybe you'll be wondering, why don't they just put both first and second stage parameters on screen? Well, I think, although it would be great for us space nerds, it would hinder the clarity and simplicity of the info as well, losing the focus on the actual, true important second stage performance. I remember certain F9 mission whose booster speed and altitude were on display on the webcast... Pretty rare, don't you think?

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    $\begingroup$ I wouldn't say "monitoring performance" has anything to do with the gauges in the webcast. Flight control isn't looking at the webcast to check how is the launcher doing. So no matter which stage you pick, showing its altitude/velocity data is certainly not important, the rocket would fly just fine without it. It's just random eye candy for PR purposes ("look how crazy fast the rocket is going, wow!"). $\endgroup$
    – TooTea
    Commented Aug 14, 2019 at 7:02
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    $\begingroup$ Iirc these rare ones were when the payload/orbit was classified. Then we did not see the second stage after fairing separation and instead there was the S1 telemetry. $\endgroup$
    – jkavalik
    Commented Aug 14, 2019 at 12:50
  • $\begingroup$ Yes TooTea, I took for granted that flight control is monitoring rocket performance, sorry if I didn't stated it. I meant "data for the audience" $\endgroup$
    – Rolando
    Commented Aug 15, 2019 at 15:32

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