On board Starship prototype cameras seemed to fail during test launches very often. However, during such video dropouts, the rocket telemeteries are still received without a hitch, so satellite uplink issue due to vibration is unlikely . Also the Falcon 9 launch footages on the other hand are pretty well taken.

One possiblity may be that the video band width far out weighs telemetry signal. Is the vibration too much to handle or the speed of the rocket or is it weather driven or any other reason? What can be the solution, a new camera technology or a gyro-stabilized camera or use a C-band/Ku band frequency video feed?

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    $\begingroup$ I think the wireless connection is failing not the camera $\endgroup$ Commented May 6, 2021 at 12:36
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    $\begingroup$ I think there are a lot more range assets receiving data in a falcon 9 launch compared to a Starship test, yet we still see connection dropouts routinely on falcon 9 such as @ ~T+7:53 and onwards in the latest Starlink launch $\endgroup$ Commented May 6, 2021 at 12:48
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    $\begingroup$ Drop outs during landing on droneships may be due the hot plasma. $\endgroup$
    – seccpur
    Commented May 6, 2021 at 12:49
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    $\begingroup$ Mostly due to the clouds, I think. The clear-day launches had very little dropout. $\endgroup$ Commented May 6, 2021 at 12:58
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    $\begingroup$ Telemetry, at least the most basic numbers, requires orders of magnitude less bandwidth than a video stream. They probably send this over much lower frequency, and with plenty of error-correction redundancy. $\endgroup$ Commented May 6, 2021 at 16:18

1 Answer 1


There are two reasons I can think of:

  1. Video requires much higher bandwidth than telemetry. Let's assume 1000 channels (probably highly unrealistic), sampled 1000 times per second (also extremely unrealistic) with a 64 bit resolution (very unrealistic), that's still only 64 Mbit/s. A single HD camera with the highest possible H.265 compression is already 20 Mbit/s. SpaceX has multiple cameras, I think they are not using the maximum compression, and I think that at least some of them are 4K.
  2. Video is irrelevant. Telemetry is vital. Why expend resources on something that is mainly eye candy for fans?
  • $\begingroup$ These points are pretty much self evident and/or mentioned in the question and reference no technical details about how they would handle those priorities. $\endgroup$
    – Eric G
    Commented May 6, 2021 at 20:11

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