Talk:Lists of space exploration milestones, 1957–1969

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No matter what the Soviets wanted to call it, "two spaceships passing in the night" does not qualify as a "rendezvous", any more than Raquel Welch driving past me in her sports car would. Wahkeenah 19:50, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

You can side with the US on this, that's your choice, but let's present the facts, there is disagreement. Gravitor 20:34, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
So, if Raquel passes me in her car, does that constitute a "rendezvous" according to the Russians? Wahkeenah 20:47, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
I have no idea what to make of your film star fansasies, but the Soviet definition of Rendevous was two space craft with corresponding orbits. Gravitor 20:51, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
That don't necessarily make it so. They used to refer to "communism" as "freedom" also. Wahkeenah 20:54, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
And it was a certain kind of freedom. It depends on your point of view. The two definitions are valid within their own frames of reference. Gravitor 20:57, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Excluding the freedom to leave the country at will. But that kind of word-twisting fits right in with the moon hoaxsters' approach. Wahkeenah 21:11, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm not going to get into a debate with you about the relative importance of individual over collective freedoms, the important thing is that the definition of freedom in this context is an ideological one. For someone freezing to death on a US park bench, the freedom from death may seem more important than the freedom to leave the country. I grant, of course, that in both cases these ideological freedoms were not perfectly implemented, and am not making a case that one is 'truer' than the other, simply that the definition of a word is a political act, not simply a matter of 'truth'. Gravitor 21:19, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
The guy is on the park bench because he chooses to be. Wahkeenah 22:02, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
I can't believe you went there. Gravitor 22:06, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
They choose to stay in the park rather than submitting to an institution of some kind, such as a homeless shelter or whatever. Wahkeenah 22:23, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
No one used that definition except the USSR, and they only used it to boost themselves. I doubt they stick by that definition. Bubba73 (talk), 20:55, 1 September 2006(UTC)
So, half of the players in the space race used one def, half the other. That seems worth noting. Gravitor 20:57, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
No one considers it a rendevous. Look it up. Bubba73 (talk), 20:58, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
The USSR did, look it up. Gravitor 21:16, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
the claimed that they rendezvoused, but they didn't. Bubba73 (talk), 21:20, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
"Two spacecraft in the same orbit at the same time (was claimed as a rendevous by the USSR, but did not meet the definition acording to NASA)" - this formulation is factual and neutral. Gravitor 20:59, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Stating that one side says this and the other side says that is fair... and it was a joke to anyone who actually understood what a space "rendezvous" was really about. Wahkeenah 21:03, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
The US favors a definition that makes them look better, while the USSR favored one that made them look better. What a surprise. We should state the facts about what each side claimed, not pick the side we like. Gravitor 21:16, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
The Russians also claimed the first "space walk", which consisted of pushing a guy outside on a tether and having him float around for awhile (which I'm sure you're too young to recall). The first American "space walk" allowed the "walker" to control and maneuver. I guess the first guy that jumped off a cliff was "flying" also. Wahkeenah 21:22, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Being outside the spacecraft is a potentially valid definition of a spacewalk. The two competing definitions seem worth noting to me. Gravitor 21:26, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
You're right, but for the wrong reason. "Spacewalk" was a media term. The proper term is "extra-vehicular activity". Floating around outside your spacecraft is technically an EVA, of sorts, even if all you do is float. Wahkeenah 21:57, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
You, too, are right, but for the wrong reason. "EVA" is a term used, and defined, by NASA. It means what they choose it to mean. Gravitor 21:59, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
The word means "activity outside the [space] vehicle". Do you have a problem with that definition? Wahkeenah 22:02, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
I don't have a 'problem' with it, but it is a word that they use, and define. It means exactly what they choose it to mean. Gravitor 22:05, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
It means "activity outside the vehicle", independent of any spin anyone might put on it, NASA or the Russkies or anyone else. Wahkeenah 22:23, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
No. You're wrong. Words have no absolute meaning that is separate from the way in which they are used. Gravitor 22:29, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
No. You're wrong. Wahkeenah 22:35, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Is that all you've got? Your constant insults and refusal to offer any evidence of your claims has destroyed your credibility. Gravitor 22:43, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Likewise. Wahkeenah 23:17, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

I've asked for a peer review. In the meantime, note the definition #4 "Aerospace. The process of bringing two spacecraft together." That certainly excludes Vostok 3 and 4. Bubba73 (talk), 21:18, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes, that's one definition, the US one. The USSR one was different. We should state that. The fact that a US on-line dictionary agrees with the NASA definition does not mean that the USSR one was not relevant at the time. Gravitor 21:21, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
They didn't rendevzous by any reasonable definition. They just passed within 5 km of each other. Bubba73 (talk), 21:26, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
By their definition this was a rendevous. There are many things about other people's points of view that you don't find reasonable, but the facts are the facts. That was the definition that they used. Using the fact that the US won the cold war to apply revisionist definitions to make them 'win' all the important milestones is an underhand piece of propoganda. These were two competing definitions at the time, and should be represented as such. Gravitor 21:29, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
The word "rendezvous" means meeting. Passing each other several miles apart does not constitute "meeting", no matter who's trying to spin it that way. Wahkeenah 21:32, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
As you know, words have different meanings that change over time, place and usage. There is no 'absolute' meaning. The definition the Soviets used was different to yours. Let's just say that. Gravitor 21:47, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
It would be interesting to know if the Russians actually used the term "rendezvous". If they used it to mean "two spacecraft that passed within a few miles of each other", that's the "Humpty Dumpty" approach to language usage. Wahkeenah 21:51, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes, and it's the only one that makes any sense. The word meant what they wanted it to mean, since they defined it. For the US the same was true. Gravitor 21:57, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
No, they did not define it, they took an already-defined word and willfully changed its meaning to suit their purposes. It did not "change over time" through natural usage, it was deliberate. Regardless, why don't you put yourself to some good use and go find what the actual Russian term was that was used? Wahkeenah 22:35, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes, like the moon hoaxsters raising questions and calling their questions "evidence". Wahkeenah 21:58, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
While the astronot raise... nothing and call it "evidence"...Gravitor 22:08, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
The historical record and independent observations are "nothing"? Why don't you read about this elsewhere here and in the archives, instead of expecting me to restate it to you? Oh, I forgot, the hoaxsters don't expect to do any research themselves, they expect others to do it for them. Wahkeenah 22:23, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm not going to play your games. You've had the opportunity to present independent evidence of human landing. You don't have any. Gravitor 22:27, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
And I'm tired of playing your game. I don't have to prove anything to you, the accuser. You must prove your accusation, countering the well-documented, by others evidence. You haven't, and you can't. Or maybe I should take you out of the equation and say that the hoaxster community has not, and cannot. Wahkeenah 22:35, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
No. NASA made an extraordinary claim. One that has never been backed up by independent evidence. Gravitor 22:43, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Not true. Read the evidence. Don't try to con me into doing your research for you. Wahkeenah 23:17, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Of course it's true that NASA claimes they went to the moon, and of course it's true that there's no independent evidence. Gravitor 23:21, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

One positive has emerged from this yakkety-yak, though... when Raquel passed me in that car three miles away, it was a rendezvous. And I wanna tell ya, it was goo-ood! Every bit as good as the Russian spacecraft "rendezvous" was. Wahkeenah 22:39, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Whatever. Your constant nonsense isn't worth reading. Gravitor 22:43, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Likewise. Wahkeenah 23:17, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

The Soviet Union could have also called a dog a cat, but that wouldn't have made it so. A rendezvous is a meeting. The spacecraft did not meet, they merely passed at a distance of several miles. The fact that they launched into the same orbital path might be considered an achievement in and of itself, i.e. a well-timed launch, and it might have furthered their space program to some degree (as opposed to being just a publicity stunt), but calling it a "rendezvous" (if in fact that was the term they used) was pure hype on their part. Wahkeenah

Wahkeenah, I think you are dead wrong on this one. I can see your point - 5 km seems ridiculously large to be considered a "rendezvous" - but when one considers the speeds and distances involved, and the fact that 5km represents the distance one of these vehicles could travel in a second, this indeed was a "rendezvous," though clearly the Soviets were implying this was a more impressive achievement. It seems some here have an ax to grind with the Soviets. Justified as some of those feelings may be, we strive for NPOV here, not statements seemingly based on some grudge against one side. As it stands now, with the note that the Soviets "misleadingly" called this a rendezvous, this is POV. As others noted, they called it a "rendezvous" and even if the claim is somewhat exageratted and officials later admitted as much, it clearly was the first successful attempt to coordinate orbits, even if there was no real chance for a dock. This line "generally accepted" as a first rendezvous should be stricken - it should perhaps be better phrased "first near-dock," since, as the debate makes clear, it is NOT "generally accepted" that the Gemini flight was the first "rendezvous."
As I noted below, there are problems on this page as some of the "firsts" here - like the first two-week flight - are simply wrong. Soyuz 9 was the first, not Gemini 7 (oops - I called it Gemini 5 in the "history" section). I see someone quickly reverted it - look it up - Gemini 7 flew 13 days 18 hours, "two weeks" is 14 days 0 hours, first surpassed by Soyuz 9 in 1970. Canada Jack 22:59, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
This is an old debate on this page, which was settled last summer when Bubba73 found proof that the Soviets knew they were misleading the public into thinking a rendezvous had been achieved. Wahkeenah 23:14, 6 January 2007 (UTC)


What I feared would happen has happened. Instead of one focal point for the hoaxsters, we now have two. I think we should abandon the idea of further sub-articles, as it will become too unwieldy to counter the hoaxsters' parallel-universe viewpoints on so many fronts. Wahkeenah 21:36, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

So if you can't control the article, you don't want it? Funny! Gravitor 21:45, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
No, it's just that you, like your pal Canfield (assuming you're not actually one and the same) won't discuss anything, you just slap your POV changes in. Wahkeenah 21:51, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Take your accusations back to rfc, where they belong. The community has no patience for your type. Gravitor 21:58, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Those are observations, not accusations. And I use those terms the way *I* choose to, just like the Russkies did. Wahkeenah 22:04, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Ah, derogatory ethnic names are always funny. Gravitor 22:24, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
That's right, gringo. Wahkeenah 22:36, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
I don't know what you think you're doing, but your constant insults and refusal to offer any evidence of your claims has destroyed your credibility. Gravitor 22:41, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Likewise. Wahkeenah 23:17, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
As you know, I have not insulted you. Gravitor 23:20, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Likewise. Wahkeenah 23:23, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Meanwhile, how about going back to the other page and telling me how you missed the 7 people who supported that RFC on Canfield? Wahkeenah 23:17, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
They're all your sock-puppets, or at the very least, part of a group committed to imposing their POV on the page. They have a history of trying to drive off anyone who disagrees with them, by any means necessary. Gravitor 23:20, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
That's a good one. Now, make yourself useful, and go back to Apollo Moon Landing hoax accusations, and tell us how you missed the 7 who supported the RFC on Canfield. Wahkeenah 23:22, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
I didn't intend for this article to be a sub-article from the hoax article. I meant it to stand independently and be a useful source of information, other than relating to the hoax page. I included things that were on the direct path to the moon landing. So, for instance, the first unmanned docking was not listed because it doesn't relate to a manned mission to the moon. I also left out unmanned probes to Mars, Venus, etc and also I left out "first communication satellite", "first meteorological satellite", "first commercial satellite", first geo-synchronous satellite, etc, etc, because they don't directly relate to the moon landing. Bubba73 (talk), 23:21, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
That's fine, but you shouldn't feel that you own the article. I think that it should be a list of all commonly acknowledged space firsts. Let the reader decide which are relevant, instead of cherry picking your favorites. Gravitor 23:24, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Alas, the hoaxsters want it to mean whatever they want it to mean. It's just another place for them to "rendezvous". Wahkeenah 23:22, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
No, it's a list of space exploration firsts, not a POV list of space exploration firsts acording to NASA, except the ones that don't fit Bubba's agenda. Gravitor 23:24, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
The moon landing is established history. The fact that a tiny minority like to think it didn't happen is not relevant to such a list. Wahkeenah 23:27, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
? You don't make sense. If it's a list of space exploration firsts, then that's what it should be. Why is first docking less relevant than first rendevous? Oh, because the USSR did it, not NASA? Get real. Gravitor 23:29, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Now, before you do anything else here, how about going back to the hoax page and answering my question as to the 7 people who DID support the RFC against that one guy? Wahkeenah 23:28, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
I answered your question on this page. Copy it over if you want to. Gravitor 23:29, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
You said they were a group of sockpuppets, which is a way of skirting explaining why you didn't see them at all originally. I really would like to know why. Are there two different pages on that RFC, or what? Wahkeenah 23:50, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Luckily you avoided insults and personal attacks. I'm not copying your comments elsewhere, you can do your own work. I would be more impressed if you would own up to having overlooked the various comments in support of the RFC that you said were non-existent. Wahkeenah 23:47, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
We could move this page to List of Space Exploration Milestones that support Bubba73's weak arguments, 1957-1969 if you like? Gravitor 23:34, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Most of the rest of the world agrees with the conventional history, despite the hoaxsters' attempts to change that situation. You're just not getting through to them, somehow. Wahkeenah 23:47, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
It is not my mission to crusade for a particular POV, but rather to help write a neutral article. I know you don't approve of that, feeling that your POV should dominate, but you are wrong. Gravitor 23:50, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Purpose of the Article[edit]

This list will develop differently depending on whether your goal is to document significant milestones in development of human space flight capabilities (a technical developement question) or to document significant propoganda events (a political science question). The moon race was grounded in both international politics and technical challenges, so either approach would be valid, but the way you would package the events would be different.

For example: The fact that Valentina Tereshkova was female was politically significant but technically trivial. The fact that the USSR demonstrated that they had developed a fully automated spacecraft that could carry a farm girl with minimal training was a very significant technical milestone. Greg 21:07, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Yes, well, Apollo Moon Landing hoax accusations#Technological capability of USA compared to the USSR lists that as a technological achievement of the USSR over the US, so I included here.

Reverting is not helpful[edit]

Please don't revert without comment - you look like you ran out of arguments on the talk page, it's time to move on and admit you are wrong, or discuss it sensibly. Carfiend 15:42, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Check the facts. Read the notes in the article. Read the WP articles that are linked to. The most authorative online source of space exploration material, including the Soviet space program, is in the notes, and it says that the Vostok capsule didn't even have the ability to rendezvous. Bubba73 (talk), 15:52, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
It's a US source. You don't get what NPOV is, do you? Carfiend 16:00, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
US sources can't be NPOV? Really?? -- ArglebargleIV 00:28, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
This is not a subpage of the hoax article. It is a factual listing. Bubba73 (talk), 15:53, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
So keep your POV out of it and state the facts. Carfiend 16:00, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

The next article in line[edit]

There probably should be two or three more articles in this chain. Befpre I start them, we probably should work out the ranges covered. Maybe from 1969-1981 and 1981-present? -- ArglebargleIV 20:42, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

After I started this article, I fould several other articles that overlap somewhat. See the list under "see also". Bubba73 (talk), 21:02, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Stop your revert wars, and use the talk page.[edit]

I fixed some of the more obvious POV issues - don't be afraid to present both sides of the story, even if they don't fit your pov. Gravitor 23:44, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

  • I modified your changes. The dispute is now covered in the footnote. -- ArglebargleIV 00:24, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
    • With Canfield suspended until tomorrow morning, one of his possible sockpuppets is back. Gravitor is another user whose virtually only interest is this one article, thus making him a suspect as per the wiki guidelines. Wahkeenah 00:48, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
      • Well, even though I think the hoax accusations are so far from correct that they aren't even wrong, mentioning the dispute in a footnote (with a pointer to another article) seemed a better choice than ignoring it entirely. It's fair, NPOV, and the issue is explained. -- ArglebargleIV 01:15, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
        • The hoax accusations are essentially from a parallel universe of rational thought. It's worth citing in the footnote that the Russians decided to call it a rendezvous even though it wasn't, as you did in a polite way. One of those users argued that they can call it whatever they want, and surprise-surprise, one of his clones agreed with that absurdity and using the same logic. Not that they're sockpuppets. Anyway, that Humpty-Dumpty approach to language does not hold in the real world. Regardless, after the Russians had put up the dog Laika, if they had claimed it was a cat, these guys would probably have been OK with that. Wahkeenah 01:22, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Please read the npov guidelines. There are two definitions, each one used by a major player in the space race. Putting the one you like in the text, and the one you don't like in a footnote, is NOT npov. Gravitor 01:29, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Two definitions, one used by the USSR in the sixties, and one used by nearly everybody else. And this WAS discussed in this talk page -- see above, where I mentioned it. Reverting my changes and claiming my violation of a guideline is WRONG. -- ArglebargleIV 01:45, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
I have not found any prior definition that the USSR used to justify calling their dual flight a rendezvous. It was a case of Soviet Propaganda to call it that. Bubba73 (talk), 02:00, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Stop reverting without comment W, there is no concensus to suspend normal NPOV policy for this page. Carfiend 19:26, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Mark - why do you consider the NPOV policy to be 'nonsense'?[edit]

If you won't explain your reverting in the edit summary, please do us the courtesy of explaining it here, per policy. Carfiend 19:30, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

This page is about consensus reality, not hoax fantasies. You are the one who should read the NPOV policy, since you clearly don't understand it. Mark Grant 19:31, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
No, it's not about 'if three of my friends who are editing the article prefer the US to the USSR then that's the consensus reality'. NPOV policy states that we should be neutral. The US and the USSR used different definitions. They were the two major players in the space race. Just because you favor one over the other (and one does not exist any longer) doesn't give you the right to re-write history. NPOV protects Wikipedia from this sort of behaviour, and makes us take a factual account. Carfiend 19:34, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Here's a hint for you, since you don't seem to have actually bothered to read the NPOV policy: We should not attempt to represent a dispute as if a view held by a small minority deserved as much attention as a majority view, and views that are held by a tiny minority should not be represented except in articles devoted to those views. I did think your addition of an NPOV tag to the article was pretty funny though. Mark Grant 19:46, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
The "dispute" in this case, is over the Russians taking a word that means "meeting" and deciding to define it as "two ships in the same orbit, miles apart from each other". This all means nothing. It's just part of the game Carfiend is playing with us while he can, before he gets blocked permanently. Wahkeenah 19:50, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
So in what sense was the USSR a small minority in the space race? Carfiend 19:52, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
To quote Abraham Lincoln, "How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four; calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg." Calling "launching two nonmanueverable craft into the same orbit" a rendezvous doesn't make it a rendezvous. The consensus among space program historians (see the rendezvous article) is that the USSR's achievement, while displaying a commendable ability for precision launching, was not a rendezvous, and it wasn't comparable to Gemini 6A and Gemini 7 maneuvering into close proximity after their launches into similar, but not identical, orbits. Nevertheless, the explanation in the footnote (which I wrote) covered the dispute -- and it belongs in a footnote, not as inline text on what is supposed to be a short, descriptive table. The table entry for the USSR achievement precisely states what they did. Even if the USSR thing WAS a rendezvous, it wasn't the same thing that the US did -- the USSR's "rendezvous" was far simpler and not the same level of accomplishment. The text belongs in the footnote; no "truth" is discarded. -- ArglebargleIV 19:54, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
So, your argument is that, because an American president said it, the Americans are right?! There is no argument to be had. The US defined it one way, the USSR another. US space experts quoted in the footnotes share your POV that the US is right, but that is not what Wikipedia policy means by neutrality. Just because this is the English language Wikipedia does not mean that it needs to re-write history to favor the English speaking world. This was a political issue. Carfiend 19:59, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Uh, no, that is NOT what I meant. The quote was an illustration of the truth that calling something what it isn't doesn't make it so. I don't know how that can be distorted into an attempt to call on the authotiy of a US president, I really don't. -- ArglebargleIV 22:44, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
It's "Pointy Haired Boss" logic. It's parallel-universe reasoning. It's like when the boss missed an important negotiation because he got distracted by an ad for free Irish Line Dancing lessons. When Dilbert criticized him for missing the meeting, he said, "I can't believe you're blaming this on the Irish." Wahkeenah 22:48, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
No, THE REST OF THE WORLD defines "rendezvous" as "meeting", and the U.S.S.R. used the Humpty-Dumpty approach and ascribed their own meaning to it, FOR PROPAGANDA PURPOSES. And that is the unvarnished truth. If you don't see that, you need to go back to the history classes you skipped and read up on the Cold War. Wahkeenah 20:20, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Non-NASA source that agrees with the article: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Ergative rlt 21:19, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
to clarify (since the article has been changing), it states " Vostok 3 and 4 staged a "joint mission." The craft approached within a few kilometers of each other but did not rendezvous." Bubba73 (talk), 00:18, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Kudos. The catch is, Canfield or Gravitor, I forget which, and it may not matter in some sense, said in an earlier talk that Russia can call it whatever it wants to, regardless of what its real meaning is, because "the meanings of words evolve" or some such. There is no way to win with those two/one user on this point. Their/his attitude is that if Russia decided to call Laika a cat instead of a dog, that would be just fine. Note the twisting of the parable above as being about Lincoln instead of being about the point that a word has a meaning, and trying to change it for one's own purposes doesn't make it so. It's "Pointy Haired Boss" logic. FYI, the word "rendezvous" is French, it literally means "render yourself", a French idiom used to mean to gather for a meeting. If anyone has the right to define it, it's the French, not the Russians. As far as the U.S. "defining" it, that's more word-twisting on Canfield/Gravitor's part, because the U.S. meaning follows the French definition. Wahkeenah 21:37, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
You could hardly be more wrong. The French definition of the word throws some light on this, since, if we're not allowed to alter the definition of a word, it just means to show up in the same place. Of course, you want to allow the US to define it as showing up in a self powered space craft. The USSR defined it just as showing up in a spacecraft. Of course words change and their definitions change depending on who is using them and how, the only way to claim that that is not the case is to have your head burried high up in a dark place. The facts are that the US used one defintion, and the USSR another. They were the only ones who did anything like this at the time. So Japan follows the US, not the USSR? Big surprise, the USSR lost the cold war - that doesn't let you off the NPOV hook. Carfiend 15:06, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
Miles apart is "the same place"? Wahkeenah 15:20, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
Note handwaving away of non-US source. Ergative rlt 16:52, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
I've left "Claimed by USSR as a rendezvous" in the table, as it may warrant more mention than just in a footnote, but the "disputed by US" and "US definition" go, as these aren't limited to the US. Ergative rlt 16:57, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
Relatively speaking, yes. Carfiend 15:20, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
Relatively speaking, the earth and the moon are in "the same place". Wahkeenah 15:22, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
If you choose a large enough frame of reference, that's true. If you choose the space of possible earth orbits as your frame of reference, A few miles is fine. Carfiend 15:23, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
That's your point of view. So, tell me, Cliff, what color is the sky in your world? Wahkeenah 22:44, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
It's not my point of view, it's Wikipedia policy. As for the sky, it looks sort of red/orange to me, although earlier it looked blue, and before that it looked black. To color blind people it no doubt looks different. I'll send them to you though, you can tell them what color it really is. Carfiend 01:10, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Programming and space travel[edit]

I "read somewhere" that the early spaceship computers used "a quantity of programming" that could be fitted onto a floppy disk. Can anyone expand on this factoid? Jackiespeel 17:40, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Well, no, but the computers were not anything like as complex and large as modern ones. Memory in the tens of kb was not uncommon, so it doesn't sound unreasonable. Carfiend 20:56, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
As a reference, this website has much of the Apollo control code. -- ArglebargleIV 21:36, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
For more information, see this link - down to "greatest software ever written, and the link there. Bubba73 (talk), 02:33, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Carfiend, were the computers of that era powerful enough to get a spacecraft to the moon and land, in principle? Bubba73 (talk), 14:24, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
I have no idea. I presume that, in principle, computers might not be needed at all. One can imagine a system of manual control with calculations being done by hand and supported with tables and charts. Carfiend 14:36, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
If you really think that, you have no qualifications for even being on this page. Wahkeenah 17:48, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Actually, it was probably just within the realm of possibility to carry off most of the Apollo flights with tables, charts, and sliderules -- however, I don't think it could have been done with a three-person crew. They were overworked at several points as it was, the burden of manual calculation would have been too heavy. Furthermore, the correction procedures if something went wrong would have required computer help somewhere (as in Apollo 13). -- ArglebargleIV
On what basis do you make that determination? I'd be fascinated to hear the 'qualifications for being on this page' that you have deigned to lay down. How lucky we are that, as well as being able to settle any dispute with your Iron Point of View you have laid out qualifications for participation. Carfiend 00:35, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps the spaceship was intended to do less - get the ship to take the crew to the moon and back - while present day systems are expected to do much more, and "computer programming complexity expands to fill the computer storage available". The general user could effect some basic repairs and modifications (more complex than "percussive maintenance") on a typewriter - but the present day equivalent could not do as much with a computer (ditto cars etc).

If anyone can find the information on computer requirements for space flight (including satellites etc) at various historical points, it would be an interesting addition.

Jackiespeel 18:11, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Given that the arguments for suspending Wikipedia's NPOV policy for this article have been debunked, please stop reverting to the POV version.[edit]

  1. . The USSR's POV is not a 'fringe' one.
  2. . The two competing definitions are both equally valid points of view, it is not our job to say which one is correct.
  3. . Abraham Lincoln's POV is not relevant. Carfiend
  4. . The Russians can define a word any way they want to. If they wanted to call Laika a cat, that would have been OK, too. Wahkeenah 22:28, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
They can, indeed, define a word any way they want to. As above, the two defintions are not comparable to calling a cat a dog, it is more like calling a cat a mammal. The two definitions are different only in their level of specificity. For the Soviets, the definition is being in the same place, for the US it is being in the same place and maneuverable. Carfiend 01:14, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
The two Vostoks weren't in the same place. They were miles apart, and could do nothing to bring themselves closer. Calling that a rendezvous, and giving it the same prominence in Wikipedia as the real first rendezvous in 1965 is stretching NPOV beyond the limits of what NPOV means -- as WP:NPOV can tell you. -- ArglebargleIV 16:00, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
And they often did. Like calling captivity "freedom". Wahkeenah 01:54, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Great, I'm sure the communism article has been just waiting for you to come and impose your point of view on it - it's a good job you're around to settle all of these debates that have kept the rest of the world busy all these years! You're honestly incapable of stepping out of your own POV, aren't you? Carfiend 03:43, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
I didn't call the USSR's position a fringe one, I called the hoax accusations fringe beliefs. Your edit summary and statement here both misrepresents my edit and your reversion. Ergative rlt 22:53, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
So the treating the definition of rendevous is uncontroversial as far as you are concerned? I will make that change, and leave the issue of the moon landing for another conversation. Carfiend 23:26, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
More misrepresentation, and another misleading edit summary. Ergative rlt 23:47, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
So are you saying that the Soviets were a 'fringe' in the space race, or not? Carfiend 01:11, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I didn't get that. Are you saying that the Soviets were a 'fringe' in the space race, or not? Carfiend 03:43, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
I'll answer. The USSR was definitely NOT a fringe player in the space race. However, for propaganda purposes, they used what is, at best, a fringe definition of "rendezvous". What the USSR did in 1962 was not at all comparable to what the US did in 1965. Maneuvering into close proximity from different orbits is significantly more difficult than being launched into an nearly identical orbit. Vostok (and Mercury, btw) were not maneuverable. Gemini was. Rendezvous was a necessary step towards docking. Launched into nearly identical orbits several miles apart is not a milestone towards docking. Simple. -- ArglebargleIV 15:56, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks - I appreciate you using the talk page. I'm glad we've agreed that the USSR is not a fringe group. Given that, I'm not sure how the definition they used is fringe in that case. I understand that you agree with the US POV, and the differences between the two things are agreed on. What is at stake here is whether the USSR and US POVs will be treated neutrally (regardless of our feelings about who is 'right') or whether we are going to discard the NPOV policy and editorially decide who was 'right' in their definition.
I am proposing simply describing what each player did (arriving in similar orbits vs maneuvering close by. Both sides called what they did rendevous. There is no 'correct' answer to this, aside to describe what each did. Carfiend 16:07, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
You're constantly accusing us of being on NASA's payroll. I must assume, given your continued defense of their bogus use of the term "rendezvous", that you are on the Russian space program's payroll. >:) Wahkeenah 17:15, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
I don't recall ever having accused you of being on NASA's payroll. Whatever though, do you have anything relevant to say in defense of your POV pushing? Carfiend 17:20, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes. The Russians do not have the right to change the meaning of a word to suit their propanda purposes. Wahkeenah 17:47, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
They have exactly the same right to define the word as they choose as anyone else does. No modern dictionary maintains the position that they are repositories of 'correct' meaning, they document actual usage. The USSR definition is every bit as valid as the US one, and the article should reflect that. After you're done on this page, you can go and tell Michael Jackson what 'bad' really means. Carfiend 21:13, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
I'll take that to mean you have no response. Wahkeenah, your point of view is valid, but there is a NEUTRAL point of view policy here. Try to follow it. Carfiend 00:32, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
You may take it to mean I am through responding to you, period. That's on the advice of others. So, once you are blocked permanently, which you will be inevitably, I'll come back here and try to actually do something constructive. Wahkeenah 00:42, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
Great. Well, I'm glad we've got it in writing now that you are not editing in good faith. I'd suggest that if you can't follow policy, you take a break for a while. Carfiend 00:44, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
Good work on a compromise, ArgleBargle, I like your version. Carfiend 23:01, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
Apparently you didn't like it. Don't say things you don't mean. -- ArglebargleIV 01:03, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
No, I do like it - what do you mean by that? I didn't revert it, I prefer your version. Please check the edit summary before making acusations. Carfiend 01:04, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
I checked the edit summaries, and very carefully, too. You keep dragging up "claimed" and other such verbiage. I certainly don't think that my phraseology is all-holy and God-given, by any means, but it is clear through the lens of your recent edit actions, that you don't like my wording. My statement stands. -- ArglebargleIV 01:29, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
Wahkeenah - please don't continue to edit war without using the talk page, you'll be blocked again. What is wrong with the NPOV policy? Please explain why you think the US POV should be treated differently than the USSR, other than that it conforms to YOUR POV. Carfiend 01:04, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
IMO, both of you are edit warring, and both of you are poking each other with sticks hoping for the final blowup. That's not good for the article, regardless of POV issues.
I think it is fairly clear that the USSR's calling Vostok 3/4 a rendezvous is stretching any reasonable definition of rendezvous beyond recognition. Let's note that during the 70's through the 90's the USSR/Russia certainly picked up considerably more experience in rendezvous and docking than the US (to such a point where the Soyuz docking mechanism/systems is considered by many to be superior to US-developed systems, if only because of continued refinement and practice), and that the USSR/Russian program has achieved many impressive firsts in space. The first rendezvous isn't one of them, though. NPOV isn't intended to stretch to include what just ain't so. -- ArglebargleIV 01:29, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
What makes you say it's clear? It's certainly not clear to me. Approaching one another in the same orbit seems a perfectly reasonable definition for a rendevous. Re edit warring, you may be right, but I am constantly inviting Wahkeenah to explain his behavior. He systematically refuses. Carfiend

NPOV means wording each sides claims the same[edit]

It's that simple. Neither is a 'fringe' group, each POV deserves to be treated with neutrality. Wahkeenah, I respect your patriotism, but claiming that the US POV should be worded differently has no merit in a neutral encyclopedia. You know that, deep down, I'm sure. Carfiend 01:11, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

This is the current version - perhaps someone willing to use the talk page can explain what is wrong with it, and suggest an NPOV alternative?

Two spacecraft in the same orbit at the same time. Claimed by USSR as first rendezvous. [1] [2]
Two spacecraft in proximinty at the same time under their own power. Claimed by the US as the first rendezvous in space [1] [3]

Carfiend 16:30, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

  1. You really need a spell checker (it's "proximity").
  2. The two USSR spacecraft were launched into the same orbit, the launch was important.
  3. Your description of the US action is misleading in a couple of important technical ways -- "own power" isn't the key, it's "own control", and the two spacecraft deliberately maneuvered to come within proximity (about 30 cm). The rendezvous isn't just the meeting, it's the process.
  4. Your version isn't NPOV. NPOV does not require us to treat all claims equally, nor does it require us to give equal prominence to unreasonable and incorrect claims as we do to reasonable claims. Covering the "dispute" in the footnote, and only in the footnote, is quite in the proper spirit of neutral point of view. -- ArglebargleIV 17:01, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
I take your point on my spelling, thanks, you are right about control, but, while your pov about what is important is fine, the USSR point of view is different. Carfiend 17:45, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
From WP:NPOV: " Now an important qualification: Articles that compare views need not give minority views as much or as detailed a description as more popular views...To give undue weight to a significant-minority view, or to include a tiny-minority view, might be misleading as to the shape of the dispute." Given that most space historians use the "US" definition of rendezvous, that other nations do so (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, above), and that even Russian space journalist Anatoly Zak doesn't consider Vostok to have been a rendezvous, I think it's safe to say that the "US definition" is that of the majority. Ergative rlt 17:16, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes, the problem with this though, is that the USSR was not a minority view, by any means. Given that the space historians you talk about come from the US or their polical allies, that doesn't help us. A russian space journalist is not the same as the USSR. You can't wriggle out of the NPOV policy by Wikilawyering on this, the USSR is not a fringe or tiny minority in this issue. Carfiend 17:45, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
This more-detailed page from that summary [1] first uses the term "rendezvous" in connection with a flight when listing the U.S. 1965 flight, and then again with Russian flights in 1968. As you note, for 1962 they simply report two spacecraft in orbit at the same time. They do not mention "rendezvous" for the 1962 flights, nor do they even try to claim any kind of "first". My guess would be they left the "first" out of the discussion as a kind of face-saving. Arguably, the way to put it on this page is once claimed as a rendezvous, and in the footnote only (assuming it's even true that they claimed that) as it seems to be a non-issue nowadays. More importantly, in the bigger picture, is the Russians' matter-of-fact acceptance of the Apollo chronology, and the frank listing of their own failures as well as those of the Americans. Wahkeenah 17:42, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
Well that's partly because Russian /= Soviet. Your crass racist jokes earlier lead me to think you may not know the difference. Carfiend 17:55, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
No, you still don't get what NPOV is - you can't just pick a random russian web site and use it to try to re-write history. Carfiend 17:45, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
Since you bring it up, can you find a Russian site that does claim a rendezvous? I'm not seeing it in the citations. All we have on that so far is your word. Wahkeenah 17:49, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
Nobody disputes that the Soviets claimed this as a rendevous, I have no time for your pointless goose-chases. Even if no current russian web-site claimed this, it would make no difference, at the time, the USSR claimed it. Carfiend 17:54, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
I dispute it. I never heard of it until recently, and only from people writing on this page. You need a citation for that claim. More to the point, you need to find a citation that they still make that claim. If they claimed it in 1965 but no longer do, then it means they now concur with the convention definition, and it merits no more than a footnote. Wahkeenah 17:58, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
What nonsense. We are talking about a historical event. Do you think that the Arawaks of Hispaniola still claim to live in the Carribean? Of course they don't, because they are extinct. Does that mean that they never did? Of course not. There is no way that the USSR could still be claiming this, because it doesn't exist. Whether or not the Russians do is not the point. Carfiend 18:26, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
I've made my points, and you've made yours. We'll let the jury decide. Wahkeenah 18:32, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
And the current page does indeed state that the USSR claimed this. However, it was and is a nonstandard definition, and so should be qualified; space agencies, historians, and journalists agreeing with the US definition makes that more than simply "Claimed by the US"; see again undue weight. Ergative rlt 20:12, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes, it mentions it in a footnote, but implies that, while the USSR had one point of view, the US one is 'true'. Where do you get this idea of a 'standard' defintion? Carfiend 21:41, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

How about this?[edit]

Two spacecraft in proximity at the same time under their own control. Claimed by the US as the first rendezvous in space. Since the demise of the USSR, this definition of rendezvous has become the de facto standard. [1] [3] Carfiend 21:44, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

  • Or, to put it another way, since the demise of the Soviet propaganda machine. Wahkeenah 21:58, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
Look, if you can't say anything constructive, I'd ask you to do what you already agreed to, which is take a break. Your claims are simply wrong. The US and the USSR both engaged in propaganda, and the definitions that each offered favored themselves. Big surprise. Yes, since the Soviet Union colapsed, they have not been making the claim... Big surprise. That doesn't change history. I understand you partriotism, but this isn't the forum for it. Carfiend 22:04, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
Or, maybe the current Russian regime is just more honest. Wahkeenah 22:06, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

The wording sounds weaselly and POV ("sour grapes", actually), as well as being uncited. To really do this right, you need to do a little research and find out (1) if the Soviets ever did call it a rendezvous, which is by no means a given; and (2) assuming that's true, at what point did they change their terminology; you said, "since the fall of the Soviet Union", without citing a reference to confirm that that is when it happened. The Russian government may have changed, but their space program has soldiered on, and the Russians are to be admired for it. But I don't see any citation that indicates when they changed their minds. For all we know, it could have been in 1975. Wahkeenah 22:25, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

In the interests of politeness, Wahkeenah, let me point out a couple of the more obvious factual errors in your post. The Soviet space program was much more than just Russians. The Soviet union stopped claiming this when it stopped existing. How about proposing an alternative wording if you find that one weaselly? Thank you for commenting on the talk page, it is helpful to explain what it is you have issues with. Carfiend 22:38, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
Where is your citation to support your statement that they switched the terminology when the Soviet government reorganized? Wahkeenah 23:02, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
It didn't 're-organize', it ceased to exist as the Soviet govt, so by definition it stopped claiming that it achieved the first rendevous. The Russian govt may have continued to claim that the Soviets achieved this, but I am not claiming it in the article. Carfiend 23:18, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
The problem is, you have cited nothing to support your statement that "Since the demise of the USSR, this definition of rendezvous has become the de facto standard". That's just your personal opinion, as far as we can tell. Wahkeenah 23:26, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, ok then, let's not say that it's become the de-facto standard, and just go back to citing the two competing defintions. The de-facto standard was supposed to be a sop to your insistance that the US POV was the only true one. Carfiend 23:34, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
Several ideas have been kicked around today. We'll let the other users weigh in. Wahkeenah 23:58, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
It looks to me like the Russians don't even call Vostok 3 and 4 a rendezvous anymore. Also, as far as I can tell, they didn't claim Vostok 5 and 6 as a rendezvous, even though they passed each other a little closer than Vostok 3 and 4 did. I'm wondering about two things (1) if there was such a negative reaction to them incorrectly calling Vostok 3 and 4 a rendezvous, they didn't make the same claim about 5 and 6. (2) I wonder if it was an incorrect translation at the time. These are just both possibilities I've considered. Bubba73 (talk), 00:10, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Hi Bubba, you, too, seem to be making the mistake of conflating the USSR and the Russians. They are not the same, and the opinion of one cannot be taken to be the opinion of the other. Carfiend 00:16, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
That's kind of what I'm getting at. Do we even know for sure that they used the term "rendezvous", or was that possibly someone's mis-translating from the Russian? Maybe we're beating up on the Russkies when we should be beating up on the interpreters. Wahkeenah 00:15, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Or maybe we should stop using abusive racial slurs, and get our facts straight. Carfiend 00:16, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
I use that term with affection. :) Wahkeenah 00:20, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps, but it gives the impression that you do not understand the difference between the USSR and the Russians. Since that distinction is important to the discussion, perhaps I can ask you to be more precise. Carfiend 00:22, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Of the two, which do you admire more? Wahkeenah 00:24, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
I don't see any possible benefit to that line of discussion. Please try to stick to the point. Carfiend 00:26, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
OK, let's put it this way: of the two, which do you think has the better track record for honesty? Wahkeenah 00:33, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
I don't think that question can be answered in the kind of simplistic sense that you mean. Carfiend 00:36, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Nyet. Wahkeenah 00:38, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Splendid, your logic is unstopable. Back to the point though, you understand the importance of not confusing the two, as you seem to do quite a lot? Carfiend 00:40, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Was their space program not a continuum across both governments? Wahkeenah 00:45, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Not entirely. While Russia is considered to be the successor state to the USSR in some fields, the Russian space program is not entirely continuous with the Soviet one. For more on this, you could read Russian Federal Space Agency, and Soviet space program. Carfiend 01:04, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Have you read that last article? It says

First dual manned spaceflight and approach, Vostok 3 and Vostok 4, (1962) While considered by some to be the first space rendezvous, Vostok 3 and 4 were 5km apart as they passed each other in the closest point in their respective orbits, and the orbits were in different orbital planes. American Gemini 6A and Gemini 7 were the first true rendezvous, three years later.

03:55, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
'Some' in this context apparently means the USSR. Carfiend 21:53, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
There is apparently little doubt that the USSR claimed it was a rendezvous. Just because they claimed it don't make it so. Wahkeenah 22:17, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
And as you have pointed out repeatedly, the purpose of a rendezvous is not to announce, "Hey! We did a rendezvous!" It's to enable two spacecraft to get close enough and stable enough to dock - a maneuver essential to the lunar mission, as that Russian historian pointed out in his side notes. So the Russians did get into a similar orbit, a good timing achievement which was also necessary for their planned lunar mission - but they had no means of maneuvering the ships close enough to each other to "kiss", not just to "wave", which is the other essential part of the process. So, it could generously be called "almost a rendezvous". Wahkeenah 09:34, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
I have never pointed out anything about the purpose of a rendevous. Can you site that 'purpose'? Carfiend 21:53, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
It's in the paragraph just above: "It's to enable two spacecraft to get close enough and stable enough to dock - a maneuver essential to the lunar mission." Wahkeenah 22:17, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
We need independent verification that Vostok rendezvoused. All we have is the 1962 statement by the USSR. Bubba73 (talk), 14:42, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
We don't need independent verification for the current claim, which is that the USSR said that it was a rendevous. Carfiend 21:53, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
What we need is verification for the notion that it really was a rendezvous, and not just another Pravda fable. Wahkeenah 22:17, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Excellent point. I'm sure Mr. Citation will provide that information quickly. Wahkeenah 15:36, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
He doesn't think 89 % is an overwhelming majority. I wonder what percent of those polled would agree that passing several miles apart from each other qualifies as a "rendezvous"? Wahkeenah 16:04, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
You misunderstand. It's not that I do or don't think that, but that I think we should cite the source we are quoting. Carfiend 21:53, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
The source is cited. I hope it's clear enough even for those couldn't pour water out of a boot with the instructions written on the heel. Wahkeenah 22:17, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
To put it in perspective, the USSR was less than truthful on several things, for instance how Laika lived on Sputnik 2 and why she died; and they claimed that their early cosmonauts landed with their spacecraft when they actually parachuted out. The objectives of their missions were not announced in advance. If it was a total failure, they didn't say anything about it, and it didn't get a mission number such as Luna x. If it was a partial success, they said that it was completely successful. So if it was intended to soft-land but crashed, they didn't mention the soft-landing part and called it a success. If they lost control/contact with it on the way to a planet, and it didn't get as close to where it was supposed to go, it was still called a success. This should be considered in light of the claim of a rendezvous. Bubba73 (talk), 20:30, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
For instance, see Luna programme "Twenty-four spacecraft were formally given the Luna designation, although more were launched. Those which failed to reach orbit were not publicly acknowledged at the time and not assigned a Luna number and ones which failed in low Earth orbit were usually given Cosmos designations." Bubba73 (talk), 02:19, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Less truthfull? that's funny, considering the Apollo Moon Hoax! Carfiend 21:53, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
For which there is no evidence. Are we going to go all through that again? Wahkeenah 21:58, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
It's actually a good metaphor for the Soviet political/economic system in general. They kept telling the world and themselves that everything was just fine, right up to the point where the entire Soviet house of styrofoam cards collapsed. The USA, by contrast, was literally "balls out" all the time. I think a lot of this hoax stuff is borne of general resentment and jealousy of the American system... "sour grapes", as I said earlier. It would be interesting to have a separate page delineating the various fables put out by the Soviet goverment, many of which came to light after the oppressive Soviet regime finally bit the dust and are presumably verifiable. The "rendezvous" humbug is just the tip of Siberian iceberg. However, it's telling that neither the old nor the new regime seems to think there was an American hoax. That's probably a Western Europe thing. Wahkeenah 20:57, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes, that would be pretty neutral. I think you need a MySpace page, Wahkeenah, that would be a more suitable outlet for your political opinion pieces than a neutral encyclopedia. Carfiend 21:53, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
People, just put both definitions in the article andlet it go. Do you have any idea how pathetic you look? How many hours have you discussed deabting this point? It is a stupid minor point. Let it go. Both sides should be able to present their evidence. User: 16:07, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Well said. Carfiend 21:53, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Considering it was probably you that wrote it, yes. Wahkeenah 21:58, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Funny! More false accusations! You're getting close to the bottom of the barrel! Carfiend 22:48, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
That IP-address user posted some of your comments on my talk page a few days ago, so I jumped to a semi-logical conclusion. It might have just been someone trolling and trying to pin the blame on you. Wahkeenah 22:58, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
They have. Wahkeenah 20:57, 17 September 2006 (UTC)



I am False Prophet. This page was brought to my attention by User:Bubba73, who requested mediation I would like everyone involved to post a Brief explanation of what they think the problem going on here at Wikipedia:Mediation Cabal/Cases/2006-09-17 List of space exploration milestones, 1957-1969 in the following format

== Situation according to (your username here) ==

list explanation here

Thanks! Wikipedia's False Prophet holla at me Improve Me 16:32, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Does this case still require mediation, or can I close it? --Ideogram 09:35, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

You can close it. The troublemakers have left. Bubba73 (talk), 16:42, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Rendezvous links[edit]

Space rendezvous

  • "On August 12, 1962 Vostok 3 and Vostok 4 were placed into adjacent orbits and passed within several kilometers of each other, but did not have the orbital maneuvering capability to perform a space rendezvous. This was also the case on June 16, 1963 when Vostok 5 and Vostok 6 were launched into adjacent orbits."
  • "The first space rendezvous took place on December 15, 1965 when Gemini 6 came within 30-cm of Gemini 7. Astronaut Wally Schirra accomplished the task. The spacecraft were not equipped to dock and no physical contact took place."

Soviet space program

  • "First dual manned spaceflight and approach, Vostok 3 and Vostok 4, (1962) While considered by some to be the first space rendezvous, Vostok 3 and 4 were 5km apart as they passed each other in the closest point in their respective orbits, and the orbits were in different orbital planes. American Gemini 6A and Gemini 7 were the first true rendezvous, three years later."

Vostok 3

  • "Vostok 3 and Vostok 4 were launched a day apart, and together these missions were the first time that more than one manned spacecraft was in orbit at the same time, giving Soviet mission controllers the opportunity of learning how to manage this scenario."
  • "Vostok 3 was manned by Andrian Nikolayev, who reported sighting the Vostok 4 capsule after it entered orbit near him. The cosmonauts aboard the two capsules also communicated with each other via radio, the first ship-to-ship communications in space."

Vostok 4

  • "The two capsules came within 5 km of one another and ship-to-ship radio contact was established."

Vostok 5

  • "Like Vostoks 3 and 4, Vostok 5 and 6 were joint missions in the Soviet space program, and like the previous pair, came close to one another in orbit and established a radio link."

Vostok 6

  • "A joint flight with Vostok 5"

Vostok programme

  • (Vostok 3 and 4) "First dual flight"

Project Gemini

  • (Gemini VI-A) "First space rendezvous accomplished with Gemini VII, station-keeping for over five hours at distances from 0.3 to 90 m (1 to 295 ft)."

Wally Schirra

  • "This was the first rendezvous of two manned spacecraft in earth orbit."

List of human spaceflights, 1961-1986

  • (on Vostok 3 and 4:) "First instance of two simultaneous manned spacecraft."
  • (Gemini 3) "First to perform orbital maneuvers"
  • (Gemini 6A) "First space rendezvous(with Gemini 7)."

List of human spaceflights chronologically

  • (Vostok 3) "With Vostok 4, was a dual manned spaceflight"
  • (Vostok 4) "With Vostok 3, was a dual manned spaceflight"
  • (Gemini 6A) "First Space rendezvous"

Space exploration

  • (no mention of Vostok rendezvous)
  • (Gemini 6A) "Orbital rendezvous)"

Space Race

  • "The first space rendezvous took place between Gemini 6 and Gemini 7"

Spaceflight records

  • (Vostok 3 and 4) "Dual spaceflight. Two people in space"
  • (Gemini 7 and 6A) "Space rendezvous. Four people in space"

Timeline of the Space Race

  • (Vostok 2 and 3 not listed)
  • (Geming 6A/7) "Orbital rendezvous", with the note "The Soviet Union had attempted an earlier rendezvous on August 12, 1962. However, Vostok 3 and Vostok 4 only came within five kilometers of one another, and operated in different orbital planes. Pravda did not mention this information, but indicated that a rendezvous had taken place."

Vostok 3

  • "Joint flight with Vostok 4. The first such flight, where Vostok capsules were launched one day apart, coming within a few kilometers of each other at the orbital insertion of the second spacecraft."
  • "Of note: Record flight duration. First simultaneous flight of two manned spacecraft. ... Since the Vostok had no maneuvering capability, they could not rendezvous or dock, and quickly drifted apart. "

Gemini 6

  • "Of note: First rendezvous of two spacecraft"

Japaneese site

  • "Vostok 3 and 4 staged a joint mission. The craft approached within a few kilometers of each other but did not rendezvous." Bubba73 (talk), 00:21, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Weasel words?[edit]

OK, I'm discussing it here, as per your request. You call it "weasel words"? How's this for a non-weasel word: The Soviet Union verifiably lied about it being a rendezvous, consistent with other verifiable lies and exaggerations in their reports on their space program. Is that unweaselly enough for you? Wahkeenah 22:01, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

They lied about Yuri Gagarin (and others) landing with the spacecraft. They lied about how long Laika lived, and the cause of her death. Should these be footnotes in the list too? Bubba73 (talk), 22:32, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Sure - unlike you, I am interested in full disclosure of the truth, not POV pushing. Carfiend 22:59, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Then you agree they lied when they called it a rendezvous? Wahkeenah

Vostok 1

  • "The FAI rules in 1961 required that a pilot must land with the spacecraft to be considered an official spaceflight for the FAI record books. At the time, the Soviet Union insisted that Gagarin had landed with the Vostok and the FAI certified the flight. Years later, it was revealed that Gagarin had ejected and landed separately from the Vostok descent module."


  • "... she died during the mission, though earlier than expected."
  • "Laika died a few hours after launch from stress and overheating. The true cause of her death was not made public until decades after the flight. Previously, officials had stated that she was euthanized by poisoned food, or that she had died when her oxygen ran out. " Bubba73 (talk), 22:38, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Funny! Of course, has nothing to do with the defintion of rendezvous. Hey! Look over there! Maybe then you won't notice that Wahkeenah has no logic to back up his POV! Carfiend 22:46, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
It has to do with the verifiable Soviet pattern of twisting the "Pravda", of which their misuse of the term "rendezvous" is only one example. Wahkeenah 22:55, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
It has to do with your POV pushing. The issue is not truth, since we all agree on the facts, the issue is 'who has the right to define a technical term'? Carfiend 22:58, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Reporting that they called it a rendezvous is factual. Asserting that it somehow really was a rendezvous is POV-pushing. Wahkeenah 23:02, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
So who has the right to define a technical term, and why? On what grounds other than patriotism do you want to say that the US has more right to define the term than the USSR? The two definitions are not any more or less reasonable than each other, or more or less related to the original sense of the word. Your POV-mongering is obvious. Carfiend 23:08, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
You're missing the point - that they lied about it for political reasons. They were claiming it was a rendezvous when they knew full well that it wasn't... just like the other stuff they claimed, as Bubba73 outlined above. Wahkeenah 23:11, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
No. You're wrong. They did not claim that the Vostok rendezvous happened differently. They simply defined rendezvous differently to your precious Yankees. A terrible crime, I'm sure. The problem for you, is that they had just as much right to define it the way they did as the Americans did. Both probably did it for political purposes, because, surprise surprise, the space race was political. Get over it. Carfiend 23:19, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Show me where they specifically defined a rendezvous as "two spacecraft passing each other in similar orbits" or whatever it was you called it. They knew full well what a real rendezvous was, and they lied about it in order to puff up their program, consistent with their other lies, which even the Russian historians now acknowledge, even if you won't. And, again, you miss the point of what the purpose of a rendezvous is, which I explained to you earlier when you asked that question, and I'll restate it here: it's a vital part of the process for a lunar mission - shifting orbits, rendezvous, and docking. The Soviets did none of those in that instance; they simply timed the launches to make the ships coincidentally come within a few miles of each other. Wahkeenah 23:30, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
The quotes in the article claim that they said whay Vostok achieved was a rendezvous. Noone but you seems to have a problem with that, and everyone agrees whay Vostok achieved. The only argument is over who has teh right to name it. Once again, you show your ignorance of the difference between the Russia and the USSR. I don't know how to explain it to you more simply. THEY ARE NOT THE SAME. Where did you get this 'purpose'? Did you make it up? Carfiend 23:35, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
They weaseled their own Humpty-Dumpty definition to make themselves look good, consistent with their pattern of puffery and self-delusion which continued until the day the Soviet Union collapsed. They knew perfectly well what a real rendezvous was, and what its purpose was. I'm sorry if this offends your Russian patriotism, but it's the unvarnished "Pravda". Wahkeenah 23:50, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
1965 Word Book Encyclopedia, volume 20, page 572f, "Several cosmonauts made group flights in which two pilots orbited earth at the same time in separate spacecraft. ..." No mention of a rendezvous. This was written before the Gemini 6 flight.
On the same page "In the early 1960's, Russia was still clearly ahead in rocket power used to launch large manned spacecraft on long journeys. Russian propaganda made full use of each flight. It claimed that the flights showed Russia's military strength and communism's superiority." Bubba73 (talk), 00:14, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Wow. You're right! This US encyclopedia, published out of Chicago, Illinois, uses the US definition and gets in some propaganda digs to boot! Bubba, what part of NPOV don't you understand? Carfiend 00:46, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

I changed that one line to point out that the U.S. merely used the conventional meaning of the term "rendezvous", which is "meeting". The U.S. spacecraft met, the Soviet did not, they merely passed a few miles apart. The Soviets can twist the meaning of the word to suit themselves, I reckon, but to word the U.S.'s conventional use of the term as if they were playing some sort of word-game, the way the Soviets verifiably were, is POV-pushing. Wahkeenah 00:39, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Whose 'convention' are you talking about? It's only 'conventional' in the sense that 'conventionally, the US and their political allies use the US version'. There is no conventional sense when talking about spacecraft. What the US did is no more abstractly closer to some platonic sense of truth than the US one, because there is no external, verifiable meaning of the word other than the way each group used it. There was no established meaning of space rendezvous. Each side made up their own. Ultimately, the US one prevailed, because the USSR ceased to exist. That does not mean you get to re-write history to conform to your POV. Carfiend 00:44, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
The word "rendezvous" is a French word that means "meeting". It meant that a long time before there was any such thing as a space program. The U.S. spacecraft met, and the Soviet spacecraft did not, they merely passed each other at a distance of several miles. To argue otherwise is pro-Soviet POV-pushing. Wahkeenah 01:55, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Your quaint notion that the French maintain any ownership over how the word is used is, unfortunately, wrong. Whether or not being in the same orbit at the same time counts as a meeting depends on you Point Of View. Carfiend 03:53, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
They weren't actually in the same orbit at the same time, they were in intersecting orbits, and if they had actually "met" (i.e. "rendezvoused") they would have collided, because they had no manual control over their crafts. The ironically-named "Pravda" merely announced they had rendezvoused and gave no details. When trackers figured out the truth, the Soviets retroactively "defined" rendezvous to mean simultaneous orbiting of two spacecraft. But you know that. You just enjoy being obdurate, aye? Wahkeenah 09:06, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
So, there you go. You've stated the facts here, why not allow them on the page? The Soviets defined rendezvous to mean simultaneous orbiting of two spacecraft. They had achieved that. The US defined it differently. I fail to see what your problem with that is. You are still holding out for the idea that your definition will be used to arbitrate between the two superpower definitions. You're wrong. Carfiend 15:25, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
The facts are currently on the page, in both the tables and the footnotes. What exactly is your problem with what is on the page? Please be precise, and consider that WP:NPOV does not require that equal weight be given opposing POVs when one of the POVs rests upon a (exceptionally) non-standard and non-consensus definition, especially in a technical field such as astronautics. -- ArglebargleIV 15:51, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
I actually like the current version, but must point out that the pov of the Soviet Union, in the context of the space race, is neither 'non-standard', nor 'non-consensus', except within the context of their political opponents. The point is that we should not re-write history simply because some of our more vocal editors live in the US. Carfiend 15:57, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Surprise, surprise![edit]

About Vostok 3 and 4, a top USSR space program official says:

"The group flight ... well, a day after the launch, the first craft was over Baykanur. If the second craft were launched now with great precision, then they would turn out to be next to each other in space. And that's what was done ... The craft turned out to be 5 kilometers from each other! Well, since, with all of the secrecy, we didn't tell the whole truth, the Western experts, who hadn't figured it out, thought that our Vostok was already equipped with orbital approach equipment. As they say, a slight of hand isn't any kind of fraud. It was more like our competitors deceived themselves all by their lonesome. Of course, we didn't shatter their illusions." - First Deputy Chief Designer Vasily Mishin

from G. Salakhutdinov, "Once more about space" (English title), Ogonek 34 (August 18-25, 1990):4-5.

English translation from "Challenge to Apollo: The Soviet Union and the Space Race, 1945-1974, by Asif A. Siddiqi Bubba73 (talk), 13:08, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Do you have a link for that translation, by any chance? Thanks. -- ArglebargleIV 16:38, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes, it is in a large (67MB) PDF file, here. It is on page 361 of the book, which is page 379 of the PDF. Bubba73 (talk), 17:00, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks! -- ArglebargleIV 17:07, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
It is even more enlightening if you read it in the context of the previous few pages. In fact, the previous page contains a translation of what is probably the slight-of-hand statement. It is about 67MB, so it takes a while to download. Bubba73 (talk), 18:27, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
  • That's the "smoking gun" and that should put an end to this stupid debate. Wahkeenah 13:44, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
I think so too. Mishin was the #2 guy at the time, and became #1 when Sergey Korolyov died in 1966. There is no "US definition" versus "USSR definition". The USSR knew at the time that they didn't rendezvous, but they let the rest of the world think that they did. This was in 1962. By 1965 we knew otherwise. At least most of us did. Bubba73 (talk), 14:39, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
That restates what we've been saying for the last few days, that the Russians knew it was not a true rendezvous. I recommend that you write a proposed re-statement of the facts, which are that Russia knew what a rendezvous, and they knew it was not a rendezvous. Mr. Citation's continual spin on this does not even square with the Soviet view, so that should end it. Wahkeenah 14:50, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, you still can't get your facts straight can you? Let's cite this fellow as an opininon, which is what it is. It doesn't look like he represented the USSR in any official capacity at the point when he wrote this book. Carfiend 15:19, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
He (Vasily Mishin) was the #2 man in the USSR space program at the time! He became the #1 guy in 1966. Bubba73 (talk), 15:47, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Excellent! Let's quote him on the page! You see how much better it is when you provide facts, rather than just you POV? Carfiend 16:05, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Quoted in a footnote, of course, as a demonstration that the USSR claim of a rendezvous between Vostoks 3 and 4 was incorrect and false. -- ArglebargleIV 16:23, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Erm, no. How about hidden in the basement in a locked filing cabinet behind a door marked 'Beware of the leopard'? You should not try to hide the truth. Both sides pov should be treated equally. Carfiend 16:27, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Excuse me? The USSR claimed a rendezvous. That claim was wrong and deliberately misleading, and they knew it, and that is demonstrated by the quote from the article in "Ogonek", the Russian periodical. Exactly what other POV is there now? The USSR's rendezvous claim has to be marked as wrong, and the quote has to be in a footnote because it's too long for in-text in a table. -- ArglebargleIV 16:36, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
I think that the quote should not be in this article, even in a footnote. I think it should be in space rendezvous, Vostok 3, and vostok 4. In that list of links to other articles saying the same thing, there is none of this convoluted material, just simple statements. If it is in the three articles I listed, others can link to them. Bubba73 (talk), 15:57, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree, the quote should be moved. -- ArglebargleIV 16:19, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes. This article is supposed to be a simple list, with links to other events for the details. The entire rendezvous question could be covered there, and no more than a footnote here to inform the casual questioner that it was once claimed as a rendezvous but no longer is. Wahkeenah 17:24, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Continuing... The Soviet POV was not that they did a rendezvous. Their POV appears to have been "Let's let the US think we did one even though we didn't". -- ArglebargleIV 16:50, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
We might have a conflict of facts here. We have one source saying they explicitly claimed a rendezvous, another that they let the west think they had achieved it. Either way, it was a knowing deception on the part of the Soviet Union, which comes as a surprise to none of us, but I'm thinking that specific point might need to be addressed in some way. Wahkeenah 18:37, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes, you're right. It looks like the USSR made statements and the rest of the world put 2 and 2 together. The previous page the book/PDF has a statement about it being an important step towards interplanetary travel. Most of those plans involve either a rendezvous/docking in Earth orbit or a docking in orbit around the moon or other planet. And at the time, the West didn't know that they couldn't rendezvous. (briefly passing within 5 miles of the craft you need in order to get back home doesn't help much.) Bubba73 (talk), 19:34, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

(unindent) I got the book Two sides of the Moon, written by astronaut David Scott and cosmonaut Alexei Leonov. On oage 77 it says "... Nikolayev, who made sixty-four orbits, followed by Pavel Popovich, who launched a day after Nikolayev and flew a parallel mission orbiting the Earth forty-eight times." No mention of a rendezvous. On page 150: "... Gemini 6 launched successfully and completed the first rendezvous in space, closing to within inches of Gemini 7." Bubba73 (talk), 21:25, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

  • Popovich was a man of many talents. In his spare time, he anglicized his name to Paul, and was a utility infielder for the Chicago Cubs. d:) Wahkeenah 00:04, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

Merge w/Timeline of the Space Race[edit]

Obvious duplication with these two. I like the structure of the table there better and the title is simpler, but this seems more comprehensive. Thoughts? Marskell 12:39, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

I think a merge would be a good idea, as long as we don't lose any entries. I imagine there going to be a lot of footnotes. -- ArglebargleIV 13:19, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
OK. When I started this page I was unaware of the other page. My intention was to list "firsts" by the USSR and USA from Sputnik through the moon landing. The other page goes through the Apollo-Soyez project, which I suppose can be considered the end of the space race.
Don't lose any information in the merger. For instance, there is a lot more explanation here about the rendezvous. The other page says that Vostok 3 and 4 "attempted" a rendezvous, which is not accurate. I also decided to seperate it out into manned missions, unmanned lunar missions, planetary probes, and misc. Earth satellites. That doesn't have to be retained, though. Bubba73 (talk), 15:03, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
Also, I think there are some other discrepancies. I think the other one has Vanguard 2 as the first weather satelite. V2 only measured the percentage of cloud cover, not a true weather satellite in my opinion. Also, one of the early communications satellite only broadcast recorded messages. This was a test of communications, but I wouldn't call it a true communications satellite. Bubba73 (talk), 15:45, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
The other page was created after this one I think—it was spun off Space Race during its FA review. Which name do you prefer? If we go to with that one we'll need an admin to move the history from here, which is lengthier and should be retained. Marskell 15:51, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
Actially the space race one was created in June, this one in August (by me). After I started it, I kept finding similar pages and adding them to the "see also", generally in the order I found them. The "space race" one was the last one I found. I prefer the "space race" title. The discussion for this page is mostly about a couple of crackpots who believe that the Moon landing was a hoax - and (strangely!!) almost all of the arguement was over whether or not Vostok 3 and 4 performed a space rendezvous! In a way, it is very iluminating. Bubba73 (talk), 18:15, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

I would prefer the title List of space exploration milestones, 1957-1969 to the space race one, since not all were neccessarily driven by the race.. for example, the first Canadian satellite. And it has clear boundaries; while if the title has space race in it, you'd have to go find out when the space race was. Mlm42 22:20, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

The Timeline article goes to 1975. And there's no reason that an article with "space race" in the title can't take a minute to explain the term. -- ArglebargleIV 04:07, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
Some things not covered in the 1957-1969 time period are the first probes to outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, etc) and first to Mercury. I think it would be good to include those. Bubba73 (talk), 14:45, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
Oh, absolutely -- the merge should include as much of the information from both articles as possible. After a merge, I suppose the article can include other accomplishments after 1975 as well. -- ArglebargleIV 15:09, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps there's a third title that captures everything. I'll try to do the merge, but I'm taking off soon myself (don't think it'll make anybody's list). If there is a willing eager-beaver, could something, incorporating everything from both lists, be drafted in userspace? Marskell 22:39, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
Possible third name: First twenty years of space exploration, or 1957-1976 or 1957-1977. Just some possibilities. Bubba73 (talk), 23:06, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
One thing we could do is have a large list. I want to split Timeline of space exploration off the main space exploration article; it should probably be renamed Timeline of of notable space launches or something. We could have everything there, with this as the first section. Marskell 08:11, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
I support merging as many of these as possible. Rmhermen 16:20, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
For an overview, there are now the following tables:
Or did I miss one? Since the first one is incomplete and the second one has the best layout, it seems like a matter of merging the third one into that, right?
Why would it have to be limited to the space race? Who detemines when that ended? For the US the big goal was putting a man on the Moon, but that is a US perspective. And from a US propagandistic perspective it doesn't even make much sense, it seems. After that, the US went deeper into space and started making fabulous discoveries and photos of other planets, created a re-usable spacecraft and put a big telescope in space. And probably more I can't think of off-hand. Why not drop the race idea for the table and just make a complete list of the most important achievements in space exploration. The complete list could then be a separate article, Timeline of space exploration, and a table with a summary of the really big ones can be put in space exploration. The space race bit can then be limited to that article, also linking to the other two, as is already the case. DirkvdM 10:58, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
In terms of doing the simplest first, I think we can take the items mentioned in 1 that are not in 2 (there's maybe four, at a glance), merge those and leave a redirect. That will still leave this one to think about, but it will eliminate the most obvious redundancy. OK? Marskell 15:17, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
As a justfication of the "space race" aspects, I started this article because Apollo Moon landing hoax accusations#Technological capability of USA compared to the USSR needed some balance. I ended it in 1969 because that was the relevant part to that article. Someone else ended the space race with the Apollo-soyez project. When starting this article, I concentrated on "firsts" achieved by the US and USSR, because the "hoax" article refers to USSR firsts to show that the US couldn't make it to the moon. As I worked on this artice, I discovered more and more similar timelines. I added these to the "see also", but now they've been moved out of that to the section at the end. It is OK with me to merge all of this information into one comprehensive article. But I think it should be so that who achieved what first can be determined. Bubba73 (talk), 15:34, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
The list doesn't have to deal with the space race, the space race article can do that, give it's (probably vague) definition and refer to the list. Readers can then limit their viewing of the list to the defined period if they wish. We don't need to do that for them.
The 'first' thing you bring up is indeed relevant. For example, Timeline of the Space Race mentions the first 'Artificial satellite by a non-superpower' (Canada). But that's hardly a first. So should those be included? Or should we have a 'strict firsts' list and a more extensive list? Another type of entry is 'the first woman in space' and such. That shouldn't be in the 'strict firsts' list. And what about the first black man in space (a Cuban, I believe)? And what about the first black woman then? The extended list could become very long.
And then another issue is the relevance of something. Sputnik did nothing except go 'bleep'. The first people to fly around the Moon just sat there (afaik). But the first photographs of the other side of the Moon were scientifically incredibly important. Should we indicate the importance of the firsts? And how to do that without resorting to OR? Btw, there are really three types of firsts; being the first to get somewhere (the real spacerace stuff), scientific discoveries (eg van Allen belts) and first use of a technology (eg spin-stabilisation or reusable spacecraft). Should we distinguish between these, for example with background colouring? I suppose that can wait to a later stage. DirkvdM 12:15, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Makes perfect sense to merge... what happened? Johnny "ThunderPeel2001" Walker (talk) 10:43, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

First two-week mission NOT Gemini 7[edit]

I see Gemini 7 listed as the first two-week mission. This is an error - Soyuz 9 was the first, Gemini 7's mission lasted several hours short of two weeks. Canada Jack 19:25, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

And Vostok 3 was not the first 4-day flight! Canada Jack 19:33, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

...And Gemini 5 was not in space for 8 days! By this logic, Vostok 1 was in space "1 day"! Canada Jack 19:35, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

"First extended EVA June 1966 USA Gemini 9A"
This is a rather contrived category - seems designed to give this flight a "first." What is "extended" anyway? Tightening a bolt outside the cabin door? Huh?
"First successful manned flight of a spacecraft capable of landing on the Moon (Apollo Lunar Module)"
Another contrived "first," I'd say. We will never know for sure if this craft could have successfully landed on the moon, though it was obviously designed to do so. Seems sufficent to me to note a) the first orbit of the moon (a huge "first") and b) the first landing on the moon (arguably THE "first" of the 20th century). Canada Jack 19:40, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
You are being too nit-picky. To the nearest day, Vostok 3 was up for 4 days and Gemini 7 for 14 days. Vostok 1 was up for no where near 1 day. Bubba73 (talk), 23:24, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
Read the article Gemini 7, it says "This 14 day mission ...". So it is common to call it a 14-day mission. And Gemini 4 says "The plan for this four-day mission". And Vostok 2 says "into orbit for a full day in ". Gemini 5 "...mission to eight days". And I didn't write any of those. Bubba73 (talk), 23:35, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
A few days ago I got back from a six day vacation. Or was it five days, 21 hours, 17 minutes, and 13.39171 seconds? Bubba73 (talk), 23:45, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
Gemini 9 - first extended EVA. I put that in because it was the first EVA (after Leonov and White EVAs) that did more than float outside for a few minutes. I considered this an important step towards EVA on the moon. You can take it out if you don't think it should be there.
As far as the manned test of the LM being the first one capable versus designed to land on the moon, I don't get your point. I think that it is clear that the LM was capable of landing on the moon and I believe that particular one was capable of a lunar landing. But it was the LM series itself and not a particular one I was talking about. Bubba73 (talk), 00:52, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Are you guys serious? What is "two weeks"? Two weeks is 14 days, 0 hours. 13 days, 18 hours is not 14 days! Close, but no cigar. 3 days 23 hours or what have is less than 4 days, therefore those flights are not the "first" in the respective categories!

For a page that rages on about what "rendezvous" means, I am amazed there is ANY debate over this - two weeks is not 13 days and x hours, it is 14 days, period.

Now, seemingly to put SOMETHING for G7, we have the first 13-day flight - what the hell milestone is that? How about increments of five days? 10 days? What's the big milestone in 13?Canada Jack 01:01, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, the EVA is to me a bit contrived, but I can see an argument for it. But the moon-vehicle bit is kinda silly - I mean, is there a record somewhere for the Wright Bros and their "first" test of a flight-capable vehicle? or the first actual flight? it's rather silly IMHO to include.Canada Jack 01:03, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Read about Rounding numbers. Rounded off properly, G5 had an 8 day flight, G7 had a 14 day flight. Not everyone that is somewhat longer than any previous one is in there. For instance, G4 was only a few hours longer than a Vostok flight, but G4 isn't in there. Ones that were substantially longer than previous ones are in there - not because of any magic number of days, but because they were substantially longer than previous ones. I think that developing the Saturn V and the LM were major milestones on the way toward a Moon landing - it wouldn't have happened without them. Bubba73 (talk), 02:23, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
See the Gemini 7 entry at List of human spaceflights "first two week flight", and I didn't write that. Bubba73 (talk), 02:36, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
And Astronautix says "approximately 14 days", and "the 14-day mission". Bubba73 (talk), 02:49, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Dunno what is so hard for some here to grasp. Sure, when we are discussing a mission like Gemini 7, we might say "the two-week mission" or refer to a mission that lasted 3 days and 20 hours as a "four-day mission." But when it comes to discussing MILESTONES, that sort of shorthand doesn't constitute any "proof" that Gemini 7, for example, was the first two-week mission - the first two week mission is the first mission to be in space two weeks(!). That is what "milestone" means. The first time a particular thing was done, or a particular distance or length of time was achieved. Gemini 7 achieved a lot of things. One thing it didn't achieve was hitting the two-week milestone. Milestones are rather arbritary - whether a particular milestone is signifigant is something up for debate, some are obvious (first man in space, first man on the moon etc), some are less so (first four day flight, first flight of a man-capable vehicle).

On another question, it has been pointed out that, if one is to nit-pick, Vostok 1 wasn't the first orbital flight. Well, it clearly went into orbit (as opposed to the ballistic flights of the first Mercurys) and from what I can tell, it indeed achieved a complete orbit of the earth.Canada Jack 17:49, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Everywhere I looked, Gemini 7 is referred to as a 14-day mission (although you can nit pick that it lasted only 13 days, 18 hours, 35 minutes, and 1 second). I listed only a few instances. Read about rounding numbers, and anything over 13 days and 12 hours is properly rounded to 14 days when rounded to the nearest day. As I said, these aren't magic numbers of days, just significally longer than previous missions. Look at the map at Vostok 1 - it didn't quite make it all the way around. Maybe "accomplishments" should be the word rather than "milestones". Would that be better? Bubba73 (talk), 18:08, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Correction, in List of human spaceflights, 1960s Gemini 7 is listed as the "first two week" flight. And I didn't write that, but it is the consensus of the editors that did work on it. Bubba73 (talk), 18:23, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

This is not a "nit-pick," Bubba. The word "milestone" defines an identifiable event. You DON'T "round up" a milestone.

"Read about Rounding numbers. Rounded off properly, G5 had an 8 day flight, G7 had a 14 day flight. Not everyone that is somewhat longer than any previous one is in there."

You couldn't be more wrong. You don't round off milestones, period. Either you reached the milestone, or you didn't. Hence the rather simple metaphor. You see that 14-day milestone just ahead of you on the road? Well then, you came close, but you didn't reach it. Period. Again, when we discuss flights, we'll refer to the "8 day flight" as that was pretty well how long the flight was. But when we discuss actual achieved milestones, you don't "round off" figures. This is basic.

"Ones that were substantially longer than previous ones are in there - not because of any magic number of days, but because they were substantially longer than previous ones. I think that developing the Saturn V and the LM were major milestones on the way toward a Moon landing - it wouldn't have happened without them."

Then, again, you are missing the point. A "milestone" is in fact a "magic number of days" when we are talking of endurance marks. What those "magic numbers" should be is up for debate - 1 day, 5 days, 1 week, 2 weeks, a month (however defined) etc. 4 days, 9 days, 13 days, 27 days are marks which very few would regard as "milestones." A record - which is what you are referring to here - is not a "milestone" per se - a "milestone" should be a mark or event which establishes something of signifigance. In track and field, every pole vault record could be considered a "milestone," but this would be rather tedious. Instead, generally, when Sergey Bubka first cleared 6.00 meters in 1985, this was hailed as an important "milestone," his other records were not considered so signifigant (with the possible exception of the first 20-foot pole vault, a milestone recognized by relatively few people in non-metric countries).

I am not going to belabour whether the Vostok flight should properly be called "rendezvous" or not, or what "substantial" EVA is. But when it comes to a clear mark - such as a particualr number of days - then that mark must be exceeded, not "rounded off." And, I'm sorry, but "13 days" is no "milestone" of any signifigance. If the desire here is to somehow give Gemini 7 a milestone (and sometimes some of this sounds like NASA-style boosterism where every flight is a "first" or a "milestone") then something else should be found. Canada Jack 18:32, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

"Correction, in List of human spaceflights, 1960s Gemini 7 is listed as the "first two week" flight. And I didn't write that, but it is the consensus of the editors that did work on it. Bubba73 (talk), 18:23, 7 January 2007 (UTC)"
That, again, is not the point. We readily speak of the flight having lasted two weeks, though technically it did not. But this is the MILESTONE page - and the flight was listed as having achieved something it quite plainly did not. That milestone being lasting two weeks. If you go to the Spaceflight records page, with the list of "firsts" there, you will see Soyuz 9 listed as the first two-week flight.Canada Jack 18:38, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, as I asked earller, would "accomplishments" be better than "milestones"? Milestones is in the article title but accomplishments is used in the first sentence. Another correction, I said that the length of missions was not magic numbers, but significanyly longer than previous missions. That isn't quite true - Gemini 5 was long enough for a trip to the Moon and back, and that is significant. Bubba73 (talk), 18:44, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
But aparantly you put that in about Suyuz 9 in Spaceflight records. All of the references I gave were uses by people other than me. Bubba73 (talk), 18:47, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
If you want to delete Gemini 7 and/or Gemini 9 then go ahead - I won't revert it. Bubba73 (talk), 20:56, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, I put that Soyuz 9 in on the other page... but that didn't cause a peep. Did that about a month ago. As I said earlier, when it comes to achieving a specific milestone, we have to ensure a mission actually achieves that specific milestone. So, if it says "two weeks" it has to get there. That's my main concern. As for cutting various milestones which I feel are "arbritary," I don't feel entirely comfortable doing that. To me, "13 days" is not a milestone per se, but that is just my opinion. I'm also not sure how calling them "achievements" addresses the issue.

If I was to have control of the section, here is what I would change:

Alter the phrasing for the Vostok rendezvous part to something less POV, like, "first flight identified as a 'rendezvous,' with craft coming within 5 km of one another." This addresses the argument that a) the Soviets called it that and it not up to us to decide what "rendezvous" means and b) identifies the actual distance so casual readers can judge the extent of the achievement. 5km may have seemed a lot, but at the time it was an impressive achievement, even given the exagerattion by the Soviets. I think it is important to note the achievement, but to digress into some Cold War stuff about the Soviets exageratting the extent of the "rendezvous" has no place here.

(I'm interspercing my comments with Jack's). There was a lot of discussion about this a few months ago. It was clear that the Soviets were being intentionally misleading. You will find a quote that they knew that it wasn't a rendezvous, but since the Western press didn't know the capabilities of the spacecraft, they let them think that it was a rendezvous. According to a quote from a high official in the Soviet space program (Korolev's next in command), they baited a trap for the Western press. Soviet cosmonauts didn't consider it a rendezvous. The book "Two Sides of the Moon" co-authored by Leonov doesn't say it was a rendezvous, but it does say that Gemini 6/7 was. Bubba73 (talk), 01:28, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Accordingly, I would label the Gemini 5 flight as the first near-dock of two craft, as, like it or not, what constitutes a "rendezvous" in space is a subject of debate, so to remain NPOV we could have something like "first close rendezvous of two craft, to within .3 m". Judging by the debate there is no "general acceptance" that this is the "first" rendezvous. I believe we sidestep this debate by simply noting the words used and the distance involved thus highlighting the differing achievements.

I assume you mean Geminig 7. I put it in as a rendezvous and not a near-dock because they didn't have the capability to dock (Just as Vostok didn't have the capability to rendezvous). Bubba73 (talk), 01:28, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

First 13-day flight - to me, not a "milestone" - there is nothing mystical about 13 days...

You can take that out if you want to. Bubba73 (talk), 01:28, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

You might simply note that this was the longest flight of the 60s. THAT surely is more impressive than the rather arbritary "milestone" of 13 days. The average person might not realize that America didn't have a longer mission until Skylab.

OK. Bubba73 (talk), 01:28, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

"First extended EVA" probably doesn't belong there, but that's more of a quibble.

You can take that out if you want to. Bubba73 (talk), 01:28, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

"First successful manned flight of a spacecraft capable of landing on the Moon" - this to me is completely unnecessary. I mean, do we note the first successful test flight of planes which later flew across the English Channel or the oceans? No, we note the first ACTUAL successful flight. Why not also note those test flights of the LEM on earth?

Well, the list is about spaceflights. Developing a craft that can land on the Moon is a significant step toward that goal, I think. Except for early stuff, I was trying to list milestones towards the moon landing. I added things like communications satelites and unmanned probes to planets later. Bubba73 (talk), 01:28, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Those are my suggestions, such as they are, but they are things which I feel there should be a concensus on, so I will not implement them. If others agree with what I say, then adopt some of the suggestions, be my guest.

We might consider a record progression list somewhere? Canada Jack 00:53, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Taking a look at your responses, Bubba, I'll say about the only thing that really needs a change that we both seem to agree on is to label Gemini 7 as the longest flight of the decade instead of the first 13-day flight. Our viewpoints are different on the other stuff and there seems to be a consensus to leave that status quo, so let's leave it. Canada Jack 02:51, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Merge with Timeline of space exploration?[edit]

This list and the Timeline of space exploration overlap completely for events from 1957-1969. Would it be helpful to merge the two and perhaps subdivide the list so that the period of the space race is obvious but post space race exploration is covered as well?Zebulin (talk) 21:27, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

I think that a merge has been proposed before, and it seems OK to me. I think the "timeline" article has been expanded quite a bit since the merge was first proposed. The purpose of this article was to list the major "firsts" of the 1957 to 1969, the "space race" years. As far as "timeline", I think 1942-present should be subdivided. Probably 1942-1957, 1957-1969, 1969-present, with Sputnik the first item in 1957-69 and Apollo rhe last in that time period. Bubba73 (talk), 21:49, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
One thing, though, I sort of this article'e breakdown by type and chronological within type as opposed to the timeline article strictly being in order by date. Bubba73 (talk), 21:56, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
That certainly is nice but it does make for more work than organizing a single article chronologically, especially where category blurring missions are concerned.Zebulin (talk) 21:59, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps a column in the timeline table could indicate that it was (unmanned) interplanetary, unmanned lunar, manned, Earth orbit, etc. Bubba73 (talk), 00:35, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
On second thought, I don't think that would help much. Bubba73 (talk), 02:01, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Hrmmm...more redundancy it seems. I only just stumbled across Timeline of artificial satellites and space probes. It seems that all three might find a common home if we can agree on a format for the timeline/listingZebulin (talk) 02:07, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
In the breakdown in this article, it is interesting to see how the USSR dominated early manned flights and the early unmanned lunar and interplanetary missions, then the US dominated. After Sputnik 2, the US dominated Earth satellites. Bubba73 (talk), 02:17, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

As far as combining with Timeline of artificial satellites and space probes, that seems to list all of them, and I think it is useful to have one that only hits the highlights/milestones/firsts. Bubba73 (talk), 02:19, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
How do we define the ones that qualify for the more discriminating list? Are the mars rovers or HST going to qualify even though neither of them can be called a "first" as such?Zebulin (talk) 02:58, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
There was a rover on Venus earlier, right? Was there a major optical telescope before Hubble? Bubba73 (talk), 21:29, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
There were optical telescopes aboard the early russian space stations in the 70's and there were a few non visible spectrum orbital observatories of varying sensitivity. Two soviet rovers were landed on mars in the early 70's but one landed very violently in pieces and the other broke down before it could leave it's stowage bay, however sojourner was successfully deployed on mars in the mid 90's.Zebulin (talk) 23:52, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

(Outdent) This is a watchlist leftover of mine. I believe I proposed a merge more than a year ago. Any better rationalization, I continue to support. Marskell (talk) 00:11, 16 January 2008 (UTC)