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First, it performs an extra burn (the boostback burn). Does this burn make a credible source of extra soot? Second, sometimes it appears to have flown through the second stage's exhaust plume. Does this add soot as well?

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Does this burn make a credible source of extra soot?

It shouldn't. It seems that in the launches I've seen, (OneWeb #17, SDA Tranche 0A), the Falcon 9 booster is still going upwards during the boostback burn. Also, it is burning sideways. Soot is made when the rocket flies through it's own plume, but this doesn't appear to happen during the boostback burn.

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  • $\begingroup$ I have done so @StevePemberton $\endgroup$ Aug 8, 2023 at 20:39

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