Satellite signatures of the SpaceX/NASA Crew-2 rocket launch

April 23rd, 2021 |

GOES-16 images from all 16 ABI spectral bands [click to play animation | MP4

GOES-16 images from all 16 ABI spectral bands [click to play animation | MP4]

SpaceX and NASA launched the Crew-2 mission (to the International Space Station) from Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 0949 UTC or 5:49 am EDT on 23 April 2021 — and overlapping Mesoscale Domain Sectors from GOES-16 (GOES-East) provided images at 30-second intervals (above). Reflectance and/or thermal signatures of the Falcon-9 rocket booster were seen in 15 of the 16 ABI spectral bands (no signature was evident in Band 1 Visible imagery).

A closer view showed the faint reflectance signature in Band 2 Visible (0.64 µm) images immediately after launch (below) .

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to enlarge]

A Mesoscale Domain Sector from GOES-17 (GOES-West) provided images at 2-minute intervals — thermal signatures from Near-Infrared and Infrared spectral bands (bands 3-16) were seen at 0950 UTC (below).

GOES-17 images from all 16 ABI spectral bands [click to play animation | MP4

GOES-17 images from all 16 ABI spectral bands [click to play animation | MP4]