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Aside from providing pretty pictures for the media and public what purpose does the camera on the first stage of the Falcon 9 serve?

enter image description here

Is it actually used by controllers or engineers to gain information about the flight?

If so what sort of information is captured?

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In a healthy flight, probably not that much info. Watching the plume expansion as altitude changes provides information that the engines were working properly.

When something goes wrong, it might present an important clue.

For landing, this view would be very useful to see the legs properly deploy, the angle of approach to landing, and whatever happens next.

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