Talk:Falcon 9 first-stage landing tests

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Possible rename in the future?[edit]

At this point the article is limited in scope to only ocean landing tests. I suggest that once we get multiple, significant notable sources stating that a return-to-launch-site landing will occur, and the source clarifies a targeted flight for the return-to-launch-site landing, it would be helpful to move the article to something like Falcon 9 booster landing tests and open the scope, and then make a new section on the RTLS tests. Appable (talk) 19:25, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

Hmmm. Not so sure that all of the return-to-launch-site landings (RTLS landings) would necessarily best fit here in this article. Once SpaceX can get RTLS working, they will have pretty much ended the formal development and test program that they began (at least, publically) in 2012. At that time, they'll simply be doing launches with landings and would be simply operational on that, just like airplanes (with takeoff and landing).
But let's keep our eye on it, and see what SpaceX calls it once they get there. It is certainly conceivable that they will continue some sort of multi-landing test program on land..., but we certainly don't yet know. N2e (talk) 23:29, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
I wouldn't be surprised to see them refer to the first RTLS landings as tests in press releases and thus in the media through those releases. Once it becomes more regular, they'd be normal launch procedure. I think if SpaceX and secondary sources call an RTLS launch a "test" or something to that effect, a rename would be something to consider as well as adding those RTLS attempts here.
What to do once this becomes a normal launch procedure can probably be discussed much further in the future unless you or anyone else has an opinion now. Appable (talk) 19:30, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. So it appears we wait to see if and how the final "on-land" tests are referred to. But I agree that if a lot of land tests are included, then it will be appropriate to then consider other names that might more properly cover the full extent of the article as its content emerges. Someone can start a new proposal if and when that occurs. N2e (talk) 10:56, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
To revive this discussion a bit: Apparently SpaceX hopes for an RTLS landing on the next flight according to this USA Today source. I think this discussion is newly relevant because of the chance of a RTLS attempt very soon if not the next mission. We were thinking RTLS would happen following the rough conclusion of development, but considering there has still been no successful ASDS landing and they are planning for RTLS, it sounds like that's another phase of the overall landing tests program. Should that be added to this article (I can't think of any other article it would go in)? If so, should the article move to a more scope-appropriate name (should we wait a while or for a certain event like actual FAA approval before a move)? Certainly some interesting developments in the reusability program, and I think unexpected for many of us. Appable (talk) 18:06, 4 December 2015 (UTC)
Agree this should move to Falcon 9 booster landing tests. 'Ocean' is unnecessary and soon to be no longer appropriate. Yes if there are lots of subsequent 'tests' and boosters are being reused then the tests referred to in this article will look complete and at some point it will be sensible to cut off this article and put subsequent tests somewhere else. I don't see any disagreement in these comments, so perhaps we should get on with requesting or carrying out the move? crandles (talk) 11:27, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
Done, I was holding out until there was a word on approval and a bunch of stuff happened and it sounds like it's actually happening and I'm very excited but anyway I've added a little bit on the landing attempt approval process under Falcon 9 Flight 20 section and I don't think it makes a lot of sense (in that I can't imagine FAA went from environmental approval to full approval in one day) but I'm not sure exactly what happened in that few-day spawn, so anyone who has a better understanding of that issue: please feel free to add to that section. Anyway, thanks for your comment! Appable (talk) 00:06, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. SpaceX were very clear on this recent successful (and first attempt at a) land landing that it was an "experimental test". So that makes the booster controlled-descent bit and the various attempted landings the common denominator. So the name did need a change. And the time was ripe. N2e (talk) 17:11, 24 December 2015 (UTC)

Booster vs First Stage[edit]

SpaceX, in many news releases, such as the CRS-6 media post and the article announcing the landing attempt for CRS-5, has called the component of the Falcon 9 that undergoes reusability attempts a "first stage". Third-party media says either, with the more space-oriented media usually using "first stage" and more general media often using "booster". I'd argue that "first stage" would be the more accurate for this article, because the article is very dependent on sources such as NASASpaceFlight which use "first stage". Would it be worth moving to Falcon 9 ocean first stage landing tests, which currently exists as a redirect? Additionally, because both F9 Flight 19 and F9 Flight 21 have been announced to likely be land attempts, it may be worth redirecting to Falcon 9 first stage landing tests. What option sounds the best for this article? Appable (talk) 19:29, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Interesting. I would tend to agree on the "first stage" vs. booster point you make. But since it has been so long since your May post, and the failed Flight 19 launch has intervened (on which no test was even attempted since the rocket disintegrated before it was time for the test to start), I think you might want to clarify your proposal (and maybe simplify it to only a single, explicit and clear, item), and start a new section below. Then maybe invite the folks over at the spaceflight WikiProject to drop by and give an opinion, in order to get more eyes on the proposal. N2e (talk) 03:39, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
Appable, now that Flight 20 has happened, and with a successful landing and recovery, you might want to look over the current/most recent sources and try again. Heck, if only two of us weigh in, and no one counters, that would probably be sufficient to just update and copyedit the article here on that point. N2e (talk) 19:34, 23 December 2015 (UTC)
Every news source I found at least calls it first stage on first reference before moving to "booster", and all recent SpaceX documents state first stage, so I'm updating the article. Appable (talk) 20:46, 23 December 2015 (UTC)
I agree with you, that is what I've seen most often also.
However, I only just an hour ago ran into the recording (link here) of the post-launch and post-landing teleconference with the press that Elon Musk gave. Interestingly, he seemed to use the term "booster" more than anything else. Having said that, I think you are correct, and the article should be changed. But we'll probably need to do something at the start (or somewhere) that says something to the effect of "...—also known as a booster—...", since in reality, there are sources for both. N2e (talk) 23:38, 23 December 2015 (UTC)
Do we need to move the article to also reflect this change? crandles (talk) 19:40, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, probably so. But could you hold off for a day or two? I've been thinking that the article title needs a bit more of a WP:MOVE than just the "booster" vs. "first stage" question. The holidays are intervening, and I'll be short of time to think it over/discuss for the next day or so.
But, yes, a full blown article title discussion would be useful. And I'll have some thoughts (also) on how "landing" in the title really misses a goodly amount of the scope of what these controlled-descent tests have been all about. Cheers. N2e (talk) 18:27, 25 December 2015 (UTC)
I'd say that in this context booster and first stage are synonymous... but only for the F9, not the FH. Wikipedia actually has an article on this subject. Since this is a two stage rocket with no strap-ons (solid or liquid), the first stage is the booster. "Booster" can mean different things in different contexts (it can be the strap-on solid, the "zero" stage of a 2.5 stage rocket like a Falcon Heavy, or a first stage). In the case of SpaceX they're trying to recover both the zeroth stage and the first of the Falcon Heavy, and the first stage of the Falcon 9. So booster probably works better here. — Gopher65talk 04:30, 27 December 2015 (UTC)

Falcon 9 Flight 20 (the "return to flight" flight) is also scheduled to do a booster descent test[edit]

Falcon 9 Flight 20 is also now projected by SpaceX to include a booster descent and platform landing test flight. I don't have time to update the article just now, but this is sourced, and I'll get back to it fairly soon if no one else beats me to it. Cheers. N2e (talk) 03:42, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

And it's now (probably) also landing on land! If they've allowed for it (and I'm sure they have) a larger possible landing area gives the vehicle two more degrees of freedom of slack, which should make the landing problem easier. -- The Anome (talk) 13:30, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
And as it was, they didn't need that. It landed right in the center of the landing zone, right on top of the "X" in the central circle, absolutely vertical, and apparently without any wobbling at all. Awesome. -- The Anome (talk) 23:55, 22 December 2015 (UTC)

Future tests section - Jason 3 to have a landing test?[edit]

Has VAFB got a 'landing complex'? Given Jason 3 is using the last F9v1.1 (not FT) and is from VAFB, are they still planning to try to land it? Is experience with different configuration of rockets much use now? Does FAA permission for landing cover v1.1 as well as v1.1FT? Presumably still worth trying to recover 9 rockets and other parts if it is possible even if just to assess any wear as a result of landing. crandles (talk) 10:57, 22 December 2015 (UTC)

Those are great questions. Yes, SpaceX has leased some land on the west coast for a landing site; see Landing Zone 1 for some sourced info on this. Earlier sources showed they would try to return the first stage on the Jason 3 flight. No reason to think that has changed, at least in any source I've yet seen.
However, a bigger question is "does SpaceX still consider future landing and booster recovery attempts on Falcon 9 launches "test flights"? We have an old source somewhere that Musk said he intended to keep doing these tests until SpaceX succeeded. So, now that they have succeeded, are future flights "tests" in the ordinary meaningful sense? Are they now just "operational"/normal? If they are just operational SOP, they would seem to be out of scope for this particular article. I have been, and will continue, to look for sources that clarify the matter. Cheers. N2e (talk) 19:31, 23 December 2015 (UTC)

Stabilized video of the landing burn on F9 Flt 20[edit]

Here is a stabilized video of the third of three burns (the landing burn) on Falcon 9 Flight 20, 22 Dec 2015 (UTC), as it lands at Landing Zone 1. This is from a NASA source video, and was stabilized (in post-processing) by someone on YouTube named Jay DeShetler. Link is here. Maybe someone with YouTube savvyness can ask DeShetler if they would be willing to upload the video to WikiMedia with an appropriate share and share-alike Wiki-friendly license. Cheers. N2e (talk) 23:51, 23 December 2015 (UTC)

On the History of this project...[edit]

I just reverted (R) a few recent (Bold) edits, edits that in some cases removed quite a bit of the History of this project (mixed in with a lot of very useful copyediting and article improvement as well). I totally assume assume good faith on the part of the other editors.

My sense is that since Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, it is important to not have excessive focus only on the present or the current state of any project. That can lead to WP:PRESENTISM or a newspaper of current event coverage.

So, definitely not saying that the older/historical info is not in need of a rewrite, or could use regular copyediting; just that important history might better be reduced to a short sentence or paragraph while leaving the citations rather than total deletion. Also that the History section should not be removed without a discussion on the Talk page first.

So, per WP:BRD, let the Discussion begin. Cheers. N2e (talk) 18:17, 25 December 2015 (UTC)

Are you familiar with WP:OWN? You reverted a substantial amount of work instead of improving on it; I consider my effort wasted. I can see 90% of this article covers (recent) history, but somehow now only 10% is in the section called "history". Go figure. --Kubanczyk (talk) 19:52, 25 December 2015 (UTC)
I can't see the purpose of the History section. There is a summary in the lede and then details with each test flight. Do we need a third version? I would suggest not but maybe there are snippets of information in that history section that need to be moved elsewhere eg "able to successfully transition from vacuum through hypersonic, through supersonic, through transonic, and light the engines all the way and control the stage all the way through [the atmosphere]". crandles (talk) 12:14, 26 December 2015 (UTC)
Just a comment on terminology. I believe the "History" section has information on the history of the program itself, not so much any detail about individual tests. So maybe "Program history" ??? or something else? But the program does have a history that has been noted in reliable sources which is more than the sum of the eight individual controlled-descent test flights, which since they have already occurred, are now historical in the sense they are in the past. It is my view that that history of this important program should not be lost. N2e (talk) 10:54, 28 December 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. Material in the History section should be merged either into the lede, or the main body of the article. We don't need to be told everything three times. -- The Anome (talk) 12:18, 26 December 2015 (UTC)
I'd put it the other way around. Rather than get rid of the history section, I'd merge much of the lede into history, and a few select things from the rest of the article as well. No need for that giant lede. The lede could probably be 2 sentences long for this article (SpaceX. They're doing some landings and stuff!), with the history having the bulk of the rest of it. — Gopher65talk 04:20, 27 December 2015 (UTC)
The historical facts of this program, as documented notable by sources in reliable-source media, should not be totally removed from the article. If there is, however, redundancy—and something is said multiple times—that should be copyedited and cleaned up. If there is way too much detailed info in the lede—especially now since the achievement of a first-successful land landing and recovery of a first stage—that should be moved to the body of the article, whether History or other subsection. On this much, it appears there may be a consensus emerging.
In other words, the article needs some work, which is natural after a major milestone (or even "project culmination") is achieved in an article that covered a good deal of the lead up to that achievement. But my sense is that we still should not lose particular historical events that were a part of the (long, or short) lead-up to that achievement. Cheers. N2e (talk) 10:42, 28 December 2015 (UTC)

Inconsistent scope indicated by the current article name[edit]

There is an inconsistency in the current article name that I failed to catch earlier, at the time of a previous name change discussion last year (April–December) and the ultimate WP:MOVE in December 2015.

The article is currently entitled "Falcon 9 booster landing tests". The article scope, as covered by the scope of the actual text, is clearly much wider than merely "landing" tests. I think we may need to consider another rename.

The scope of the article prose is about an entire set of tests (eight of them by December 2015, when the first land landing was successful; roughly ten by early 2016 with the completion of Falcon 9 Flight 22), accomplished by using as a test vehicle a spent booster stage, one that had already performed its job to place a second stage and payload on an orbital trajectory. Only the last half dozen or so off those tests have had (as an ultimate objective) the landing and recovery of a first stage booster. Yet all of the tests were about LOTS more than merely landing; and arguably the most complicated parts since SpaceX had previously completed quite an impressive set of low-altitude landing tests in Texas.

During these ten or so flights overall, the high-altitude, high-velocity descent tests as a whole were testing many many bits of the much broader set of technologies that were being developed by SpaceX to allow controlled reenty, controlled deceleration through hypersonic- --> supersonic- --> transonic buffet- ==> subsonic- --> terminal velocity-controlled descent (on every one of the flights) AND landing and hoped-for stage recovery (on only the last several flights). So the article title as is is too narrow and does not really cover the subject. Cheers. N2e (talk) 21:51, 10 March 2016 (UTC)

Totally agree with your remarks, and I think this article can be radically shortened while keeping the essential information. There is already a lot of redundancy with SpaceX reusable launch system development program which fits the larger scope that you mention and can be developed into an encyclopedic narrative of this historic initiative. Therefore I would suggest to trim down this page to match the focus of its title, and move any elements which are out of scope to the main page describing the overall R&D effort. Besides, if we stick to the scope of this test program, I still like a shorter title, see my rationale below. — JFG talk 04:42, 9 April 2016 (UTC)

Prosposed name change[edit]

Proposal: change name from the current "Falcon 9 booster landing tests" to "Falcon 9 booster controlled-descent and landing tests" or "Falcon 9 booster controlled-descent, landing, and recovery tests" While both are a bit longer, they are more descriptive, and importantly, more accurate. Moreover, neither is as long as one of the redirects that currently points at this article: SpaceX Falcon 9 booster post-mission, controlled-descent, test program (which leaves out the landing element completely, and seems a bit long).

  • SUPPORT—as nom, support as articulated above in the 21:51, 10 March 2016 (UTC) comment. Key rationale: 1) consistent with the scope of the article prose and 2) the actual work SpaceX was trying to accomplish (develop and test a set of technologies to make it possible to do something not done previously) is simply so very much broader than merely "landing". N2e (talk) 22:35, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Neutral I would suggest that they all have had, as an ultimate objective, the landing and recovery of a first stage booster. That was not the immediate objective on each of the early tests. Accuracy is important, but reading the title as referring to ultimate objective not immediate objective can be seen to mean the title is not inaccurate. Shorter title seems simpler. If other people think it is inaccurate and worth the effort of moving, I am not all that concerned, hence neutral. crandles (talk) 23:54, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Support for first name proposal—I'm not convinced that a long title such as including recovery is a good idea (that sounds like something that's somewhat implied and just makes it wordy), but I think there's a lot of value in adding "controlled-descent" despite the slight increase in title length. Obviously, leaving the current name as a redirect would be a good idea. Appable (talk) 15:41, 11 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Keeping a shorter name is better. With "Falcon 9 booster landing tests", readers know that SpaceX is trying to bring its rocket boosters back to land. The page title doesn't need to describe all the necessary steps to bring the first stage back from the Karman line or the requirements of hypersonic attitude control; that's the job of the lead text. Details and context should go to the main article SpaceX reusable launch system development program and this page should focus on the specific instances of boostback, re-entry and landing attempts. If the title must be changed, I would favor "List of Falcon 9 booster landing tests". Look where we are already: within a year SpaceX won't talk about landing tests any longer, as recovering boosters will be part of routine operations, deserving merely a checkmark in the list of flights. This whole page will be rephrased in the past tense shortly, and it won't expand. — JFG talk 04:42, 9 April 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Works as intended. Appable (talk) 12:28, 28 March 2016 (UTC)

Requested move 9 May 2016[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Moved to "Falcon 9 first-stage landing tests" — JFG talk 02:37, 22 May 2016 (UTC)

Falcon 9 booster controlled-descent and landing testsFalcon 9 first stage landing tests – This page has cycled through several names since its creation, as the test program itself evolved. Now that we have reached a good understanding and documentation of the subject matter, I think that the time has come to settle on a final name that could last even after stage recovery becomes a routine procedure. The lead sentence already introduces the matter as the "Falcon 9 first stage landing tests", which is both precise and short. Appable once suggested to move the page to that name, arguing that "booster" was not the best descriptive word, and I agree with this assessment. Separately, N2e advocated for mentioning the whole process in the page title (atmospheric re-entry, controlled descent, landing and recovery), in the name of precision, and following discussion the page was renamed from "Falcon 9 booster landing tests" to "Falcon 9 booster controlled-descent and landing tests". I argued (but after the move was done) that this title was too long for casual readers. The core objective of this test campaign was indeed to land the rocket's first stage, so that all the necessary steps enabling this feat should be explained in the article but not spelled out in the title.

Today I rephrased the lead section substantially, explaining that this technology development program covers the full EDL process for returning the first stage to the ground after it completes its mission. Therefore, in combination with Appable's earlier remarks, I propose today that the page should be renamed Falcon 9 first stage landing tests over the redirect which is currently sitting at that name. — JFG talk 08:47, 9 May 2016 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's policy on article titles.
  • Support as nom. — JFG talk 08:47, 9 May 2016 (UTC)
    • Please don't do that. Your nomination is your "support" !vote, and when you add another it falsely gives the impression the proposal has more support than it does. The nom not adding a redundant "support" comment has been a wikiquette norm for pretty much the entire existence of the project. (Exception: When procedurally and neutrally listing an RfC question or other discussion that is not a proposal, one may need to indicate what one's actual opinion is below the original posting, especially if one's position is opposite what others might assume.)  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  08:26, 13 May 2016 (UTC)
      • Not JFG, but I always was under the impression that the procedure was to indicate your support as nom, so it may be a fairly common misconception. Appable (talk) 18:45, 13 May 2016 (UTC)
      • I see this everywhere too, including in recent debates, so much so that I was convinced that adding your own Support line was the well-accepted longstanding convention. @SMcCandlish: I understand your concern but I would say that not adding such a self-support line makes the discussion biased towards opposing viewpoints, thanks to the visual dominance of bolded and conventional answers to the OP's rationale at top of the discussion. (Simplest example: when one debater concurs and one opposes, if you don't count the OP, you see a 50/50 no-consensus situation, whereas the real balance is 2/3 in favor.) Of course we don't decide by vote count but you know how the visual cortex has been trained over millions of years to form an opinion quickly Face-smile.svgJFG talk 23:21, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
  • Support per my comments earlier. SpaceX, as of late, has consistently used the terminology "first stage". In the absence of, from what I can find, any strong consensus in media to use "booster" (in fact, for this recent landing I'm finding more results online for "first stage"), I support the proposal. Regarding titling, I initially supported rename to "controlled-descent and" because a significant portion of tests appeared to be non-landing tests. At the stage of the program now, particularly considering recent SpaceX statements on future RTLS and ASDS landings, I think it would be safe to use the title to say simply "landing tests" with no change in article scope. Appable (talk) 13:13, 9 May 2016 (UTC)
  • Support per WP:CONCISE, and per Appable's observations about the originating usage.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  08:26, 13 May 2016 (UTC)
  • Support per JFG and Appable's rationales. -- The Anome (talk) 20:45, 13 May 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose (but could move to support with edits completed). As the article stands now, the scope is clearly both the extensive controlled descent tests and landings, over the empty ocean and over barges/land. In fact, nearly 40 percent of the total tests as detailed in the article are the ocean landing tests. Therefore, narrowing the title to cover just the landing tests is incorrect with the article scope covering the flights it currently covers. If however, the article were to be substantially edited, such that the early tests (which focused on the controlled descent phases of the technology development effort and validation of those technologies) and the over-ocean landing attempts material were to be moved, and integrated into the overarching SpaceX reusable launch system development program (and well done, such that the material is not lost to the Wikipedia reader), I would come back and reevaluate, and probably support the specific proposal. But it should not happen with the article scope as it is today. Cheers. N2e (talk) 01:11, 14 May 2016 (UTC)
I understand your concerns and have strived to address them in my earlier edits. The scope of this article does cover the whole EDL procedure which is a necessary prerequisite to safely landing and recovering the rocket's first stage. Whether the landing target is over the open ocean, on the ground or on a barge, the essential steps to conduct and challenges to overcome are the same: the goal of this test campaign is to land a stage, so calling them all "landing tests" in the title is appropriate and sufficient. Even in your own remarks, you call the early attempts "ocean landing tests" and then you argue that they should be split from "just the landing tests". To make this distinction clear, we already have article subsections about the first wave of tests targeting a vertical ocean touchdown and the second wave targeting a landing platform (at sea or onshore); splitting the article along these lines would not make sense to the continuity of the test program. — JFG talk 06:53, 14 May 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment: there should be a hyphen between "first" and "stage" in the proposed new name. It's not the question of the first (of several) "stage landing tests" (whatever that might be). It's about a first-stage landing test, "first-stage" being a compound modifier. HandsomeFella (talk) 21:13, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
    • (By the same logic, the hyphen in the current title is misplaced; it should be between "booster" and "controlled", not between "controlled" and "descent". HandsomeFella (talk) 21:15, 20 May 2016 (UTC))
    • Disagree as first stage is usually spelled as two words, don't know why but that's the common style Appable (talk) 23:02, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
    • Can you give any examples? I did a quick search in wikipedia, found few occurrences of use as compound modifier, but one article, H-IIB, contained the words in question, and wherever they were used as a compound modifier, they were hyphenated. HandsomeFella (talk) 05:02, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the spelling tip, looks like we have sufficient consensus to move now; will proceed. — JFG talk 02:18, 22 May 2016 (UTC)


Any additional comments:

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Routine procedure[edit]

I'm not sure we should continue to list every landing attempt as a flight test. By now the landing of the first stage has become a routine procedure for SpaceX; they may still refine the process but we should not characterize every landing as a flight test. I would suggest cutting this after the 2016 flights, and only mention future flights when something new is being tested or performed for the first time. Comments welcome. — JFG talk 21:36, 19 February 2017 (UTC)

I disagree since the there was a failure less than a year ago and there was recently over a three-month pause in conducting landing tests because of a failure on the launch pad. However, if SpaceX stops referring to these landings as "tests" I would agree with you. --Frmorrison (talk) 15:26, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
Looking at the press kits issued by SpaceX, they stopped calling them "experimental landings", they just say "will attempt to land" now. Here are the quotes (emphasis mine):
  • CRS-9, July 2016: Following stage separation, the first stage of the Falcon 9 will attempt an experimental landing on Landing Zone 1
  • JCSAT-16, August 2016: Following stage separation, the first stage of Falcon 9 will attempt a secondary-mission objective of landing […] Given this mission’s GTO destination, the first-stage will be subject to extreme velocities and re-entry heating, making a successful landing challenging.
  • Iridium-1, January 2017: Following stage separation, the first stage of Falcon 9 will attempt a landing on the “Just Read the Instructions” droneship
  • CRS-10, February 2017: Following stage separation, the first stage of Falcon 9 will attempt to land at SpaceX’s Landing Zone 1
With this data, I would re-iterate my suggestion to stop listing all landing attempts as experimental, and make a note in the article to explain this rationale. — JFG talk 09:56, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
Agree with stopping listing at CRS-9 (flight 27). Do we continue to update statistics on total landings achieved? I am thinking report how 70% in 2016 and 90% in 2017 estimates by Musk actually turned out then stop. crandles (talk) 13:16, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
I added a note to the article. Yes we should continue to update stats, but detailed listings are not necessary after 2016 (which would make JCSAT-16 the last one we list). — JFG talk 17:59, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
 Done + added transcluded a graph with landing stats from the main list of missions, so it will get updated automatically. — JFG talk 18:34, 16 March 2017 (UTC)

We seemed to agree that we shouldn't list any more. However, is flight 32 first reflight 'a test' that should be listed? I am not happy with talking about it under the next heading of 'future developments' because it has happened rather than being a future development. But is the solution to list it as if flight 32 is 'a test', or change the title 'future developments' to something else maybe 'Reflight and Statistics' or maybe separate headings for 'Reflight' and 'Statistics' or ...? Are there future developments to discuss? Block 5? Maybe landing 2 or 3 cores from Falcon Heavy (but that might mean dropping 9 from title name)? crandles (talk) 23:13, 1 May 2017 (UTC)

The page is about landing tests; flight 32 is a test of the second flight of a booster but it's not a test of the landing procedures. I think it's fair to mention it in briefly, as a success of the first-stage reuse program; that's what the lead says now. Section title "Future developments" should be changed indeed: perhaps "Transition to routine reuse", what do you think? — JFG talk 12:03, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes happy with that, so I changed title. crandles (talk) 12:29, 2 May 2017 (UTC)

Scope clarification, and current inconsistency[edit]

The title of the article is currently Falcon 9 first-stage landing tests. ... and it is reflected under "R&D" in the SpaceX mongo-article template that is in most SpaceX-related articles, which is consistent with "tests".

This is good and fine, and is mostly what the scope of the article is about. However parts of the article are not about that phase of development for Falcon 9 (the tests, completed back in 2016) and has continued to update for "all landings ever."

I'm fine with going with a consensus on the scope of this article, but once we set scope, I think both the article content and the title ought to be consistent. If "...tests", then we should not be discussing new landings in either prose or graphs. If it doesn't stop with the test phase, then we ought to change the title to Falcon 9 first-stage landings, or something else.

What is the preference of others? N2e (talk) 23:10, 21 February 2018 (UTC)

I'm definitely in favor of restricting the scope to the development and testing of landing technology. That will remain notable in the long term (see WP:10YT), whereas documenting routine activities post-2017 will quickly lose interest. If/when we get enough sources about new R&D activities by SpaceX, they should go in another dedicated article. — JFG talk 11:22, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
I might add the article is in pretty good shape as is, given the stated scope. I don't see a lot to be cut, where would you apply surgery? — JFG talk 11:25, 23 February 2018 (UTC)