In the last second of this video tweeted by spaceX, you can see an object fly by on screen. Did this come from the SpaceX ship, or is it foreign space junk? If it turns out to be the latter, is that a common occurrence? It seems to me like that could’ve been a very close call with catastrophe.

update: The video is also in YouTube (below) after about T+ 01:01:46 which is about 01:20:07 in the video's counter)

mystery Starlink object

[mystery Starlink object GIF]

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    $\begingroup$ At this particular moment in the video of the whole mission we can clearly see that the engine loses something white (probably ice from the cold gas thrusters? Engine chill ? No idea). I'd guess it's the same source as for the white stuff you saw during deploy. Moreover we see it for multiple frames which indicates that its not space junk as something of orbital velocity would move way to fast (back of the envelope: 1/30 seconds per frame * ~10 km/s ~= 300m per frame but IMHO it looks more like 10m / 10 frames) $\endgroup$
    – Christoph
    Commented Jan 8, 2020 at 11:07
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    $\begingroup$ Apparently this white stuff I saw in the video is solid oxygen according to this question/answer. $\endgroup$
    – Christoph
    Commented Jan 8, 2020 at 12:59
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ It's moving slowly relatively to the spacecraft, so it almost certainly is from the spacecraft itself. $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Commented Jan 8, 2020 at 13:28


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