Template talk:Apollo program

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2006 Comments[edit]

Is there any reason why this template is so wide? Savidan 02:08, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

I changed it to fit a little bit better. Thanks for pointing it out. Chuck 11:10, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

Template layout changes[edit]

See Category_talk:WikiProject_Space_missions_templates#Template_layout. — MrDolomite ·  Talk 01:25, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

New layout proposal[edit]

I think the mission in this template should be grouped. Something like this:

Does anyone have any comments? --GW_SimulationsUser Page | Talk 12:00, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Much more meaningful. Thanks. Possibly "Rocket tests" or "Saturn tests" rather than "Tests without spacecraft"? Sardanaphalus (talk) 16:32, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
PS I put the missing {{nowrap begin}}s and {{nowrap end}}s in place and tweaked some of the formatting.
    • Thanks. I was originally going to put "rocket tests" as the name for that section, but I thought it might be confusing as some of the later missions tested the rocket with a boilerplate or real spacecraft. If you don't think its too confusing, it could be changed. --GW_SimulationsUser Page | Talk 19:41, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Since just over a year has gone by with zero objections, I've applied this change. Personally, I think it looks much better. Huntster (t@c) 03:46, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
Nice work, template is now much more useful. – ukexpat (talk) 03:59, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Early missions[edit]

On April 24, 1967, NASA's Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, Dr. George E. Mueller, officially decreed two things in the wake of the Apollo 1 fire:

  • Apollo 1 was to be officially listed as "first manned Apollo Saturn flight - failed on ground test." Thus it was in fact to be considered the first LEO mission as intended, not a "training event"; the fact that it failed before launch notwithstanding.
  • He rejected the proposal to renumber the first three flights (AS-201 = "Apollo 1A"; AS-202 = "Apollo 2"; "AS-203 = "Apollo 3"). Thus, there never was an Apollo 2 or Apollo 3 (notice also that the template (and the articles) were even wrong; 203 would have been "Apollo 3" even though it flew before 202.)

See Apollo 1#New mission naming scheme and its footnote reference 30 (NASA SP-4009) as authoritative citation. There is no way the prior state of the template, or redirection of Apollo 2 to AS-203 and Apollo 3 to AS-202, and calling Apollo 1 a "training exercise", can be considered anything other than original research. JustinTime55 (talk)

Re-numbering proposals of early missions[edit]

The most authoritative sources, NASA history, document how the policy was established for renaming the early missions. The Apollo Spacecraft: a Chronology, Vol. IV part 1<[1] gives the process George Mueller gave to number all the missions, honoring the Apollo 1 widows' wish while minimizing contradiction and confusion. George Low sent him two alternate suggestions, both of which he rejected. Using Apollo 2 and Apollo 3 appears to be based on one of these, but you're even getting that reversed.

"In a letter to George E. Mueller, OMSF, on March 30, MSC Deputy Director George M. Low offered two suggestions, in keeping with the intent of the NASA instruction yet keeping the designation Apollo 1 for spacecraft 012. NASA Hq. had approved that designation before the January 27 fire claimed the lives of Astronauts Virgil I. Grissom, Edward H. White II, and Roger B. Chaffee; and their widows requested that the designation be retained. The suggestions were:
1. [This was rejected out of hand; considering AS-201, 202 and 203 to be extensions of the Saturn I flights and resuming the numbering of what was Apollo 4 as Apollo 2, etc.]
2. Designate the next flight Apollo 4, as indicated by Headquarters, but apply the scheme somewhat differently for missions already flown. Specifically, put the Apollo 1 designation on spacecraft 012 and then, for historic purposes, designate 201 as mission 1-a, 202 as mission 2 and 203 as mission 3."

So note that AS-202 would have been Apollo 2, not 3, and vice-versa. The fact that 202 wasn't ready in time, and thus was launched after 203, just adds more confusion. But moot, anyway; Mueller's final ruling:

"A memorandum to the NASA space flight Centers, North American Aviation, and certain Headquarters personnel from the NASA Assistant Administrator for Public Affairs on April 3 stated that the Project Designation Committee had approved the Office of Manned Space Flight's recommendations and that Mueller had begun implementation of the designations.
On April 24, OMSF further instructed the Centers that AS-204 would be officially recorded as Apollo 1, "first manned Apollo Saturn flight - failed on ground test." AS-201, AS-202, and AS-203 would not be renumbered in the "Apollo" series [emphasis added], and the next mission would be Apollo 4."

Even a New York Times reporter (John Noble Wilford who is nominally a reliable 1960s-70s space source, can occasionally get it wrong. In We Reach the Moon he refers in a footnote to the first three flights being renumbered Apollo 1, 2, and 3 (with no mention of how that contradicts the widows' wishes) and generally indexes the fire as AS 204, but says it was "sometimes referred to as Apollo 1".

Plus, does universe.com really qualify as a reliable source? Its privacy policy says it is exclusively the work of one Frasier Cain, but it seems to be another wiki (the "Apollo 3" article is by a Jerry Coffey.) I can't find any source citations (wait a minute; here we are: "There is a great article on the Apollo 3 mission here." That would be a circular reference.) I've seen some editors express skepticism about Encyclopedia Astronautica, but that looks more scholarly than universe.com appears to be; at least Mark Wade provides references.

I have done some Google searching for references to "Apollo 2" or "Apollo 3", and haven't found anything reliable. I've found mirrors of Wikipedia, or people who cite Wikipedia, or fan- or student-level sites. I even found a complete absurdity: a "picture of Apollo 2" which was a Saturn V on its pad! (Explain that?)

This is why the verifiability rule is so important; Wikipedia should not contribute to spreading more misinformation than it already has. I don't think we should identify any particular mission as 2 or 3 (especially in contradiction to the only reliable potential source), since that never officially happened. JustinTime55 (talk) 18:37, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Category:Apollo program[edit]

Hi. Category:Apollo program's category members don't match this navbox. Either it should be renamed ("Template:Apollo missions" or something) or it should be updated to include the missing articles. --MZMcBride (talk) 01:09, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Rename Template:Apollo missions It seems pretty clear from this navigation template's contents that that's the current intent (see the title bar), so that's the right thing to do. Unfortunately, it looks like there are a lot of references; can this be facilitated by a bot? JustinTime55 (talk) 16:46, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Apollo 13 "not a failure"?[edit]

Apollo 13's mission was to land on the Moon and explore Fra Mauro. It was unable to do that because of the spacecraft failure, so it failed, period. "Successful failure" notwithstanding. A failed mission does not necessarily result in astronauts or cosmonauts dying, and fortunately it did not in this case. This is a simple navigation template; we need to keep WP:original research out of it. JustinTime55 (talk) 21:10, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

And there's no need to clutter up the template by adding any footnote about the mission. Those who want to know will find the information in the article. Sjö (talk) 06:30, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

Apollo spacecraft missions[edit]

@JustinTime55: Hey there! It is my understanding that Apollo 4 and Apollo 6 are flights of the Apollo CSM. Therefore, I am at a loss why it wouldn't be grouped with the other flights of the Apollo spacecraft. In addition, this is a navbox dedicated to the program's missions, and not the program in general. Thus, links to List of Apollo astronauts, Kennedy Space Center, and Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39 would be out of the scope of this navbox. – PhilipTerryGraham (talk · articles · reviews) 04:38, 3 August 2019 (UTC)

Apollo 4 was the first time the Saturn V ever flew; its primary purpose was an all-up test of the launch vehicle. Its secondary purpose was to test the CM's heat shield under lunar reentry conditions. The rest of the CSM spacecraft had already been tested. It would be accurate, I suppose, to put these missions in both slots, but that might be considered redundant and defeat the purpose of the navbox.
As for your second contention, the navbox is called Apollo program, and the word "missions" does not appear. KSC and the launch complex are not out of sccope. JustinTime55 (talk) 13:24, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
@JustinTime55: As a reply to your claim that "the navbox is called Apollo program, and the word "missions" does not appear" – this is a blatant lie based on the technicality that the page's name is "Apollo program". The actual title of the navbox, as visible to readers and editors, has been "Missions of the Apollo program" since June 2007 and "Missions and tests of the Apollo program" since October 2017. Your latest edit was the first time that wikilinks to articles other than missions were included in the main body of this navbox. It's clear that the scope was always focused on missions. – PhilipTerryGraham (talk · articles · reviews) 03:19, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
The name of the template and all the links on it seem fine. Since this template is the only one that encompasses the Apollo program in total, a link to the Apollo astronaut page is not only appropriate, but essential. Randy Kryn (talk) 03:27, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
@Randy Kryn: I mostly agree with this, but just to make my point clear, it's not productive to suddenly change the scope of a template on another user and then claim it was always that way, like what just happened here. – PhilipTerryGraham (talk · articles · reviews) 07:37, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
Please check your attitude. I never "blatantly lied" or "claimed it was always that way". I meant that the word "missions" does not appear in the template name, and I missed the fact the header line said "missions". And there is nothing magic or sacred about the status of an article from 2007; we are free to make changes we feel are improvements. As Randy Kryn says, the need is for a navigation box for all the major aspects of the program, not just "missions". And don't take editing Wikipedia personally ("suddenly change the scope of a template on another user"). JustinTime55 (talk) 13:25, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
@JustinTime55: I'm not saying it's sacred or that it should stay the same, I'm simply saying that the scope was changed without discussion and that you said "the navbox is called Apollo program, and the word "missions" does not appear" when the title was "Missions and tests of the Apollo program". Calling out disruptive actions is not "[taking] editing Wikipedia personally" it's called criticism. – PhilipTerryGraham (talk · articles · reviews) 06:35, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
It's not disruptive; it's called WP:BRD. JustinTime55 (talk) 13:19, 7 August 2019 (UTC)

Non-Apollo flights[edit]

I still don't understand why we can't have non-Apollo CSM/LM flights and Apollo CSM/LM flights neatly and conveniently grouped together. – PhilipTerryGraham (talk · articles · reviews) 06:35, 7 August 2019 (UTC)

Several reasons:
  • Because there was actually only one "non-Apollo" flight, besides the five Saturn I development flights: AS-203. The AS-10x series carried boilerplate CSM's, and the intent was to test the aerodynamics of this configuration. Strictly speaking for accuracy, AS-101 and AS-102 should probably be moved down to Apollo flights (unless we want to create another "Boilerplate" section). (I see you also removed the crewed and uncrewed subdivision of Apollo flights; why?)
  • Because the section is titled "Saturn development", which is the actual primary intent of all of the flights (except AS-101 and AS-102). "Non-Apollo" is really an artificial, rather than an identifying distinction.
  • The purpose of a navigation template is to facilitate navigation between articles. Neatness (subjective) and convenience (whose?) are unclear requirements. JustinTime55 (talk) 13:47, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
@JustinTime55: As you said, they were boilerplates, not actual Apollo spacecraft. Case closed there. We could work out a way to give the group a better name than "Saturn tests", "Saturn flights", or "Saturn development". How about something along the lines of "Pre-Apollo"? Do note that the italics denote the spacecraft name – I suspect this wasn't made clear as the italics have been consistently removed. The "crewed" and "uncrewed" sections were merged because editors in the past have created fusses over navboxes exceeding two columns of groups, such as at {{Planetary Missions Program Office}} over the years. The merged group was the result of keeping it at two columns while avoiding longer group names such as "Crewed Apollo flights". – PhilipTerryGraham (talk · articles · reviews) 15:00, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
  • What hasn't been made clear about the italics is that the MOS guideline (MOS:ITALICS, subsection Names and titles, •Named, specific vessels) and its consensus of application by Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Spaceflight (search archives for "italics") is that we don't use italics that way for "Apollo"; it only applies to individual spacecraft names e.g. Columbia, Eagle, etc. Case closed.
  • AS-101 and AS-102 had the primary purpose of validating the aerodynamic configuration of the Apollo Command and Service Module during launch; therefore these flights supported the spacecraft, regardless of whether they carried "real Apollos" or not.
  • "Pre-Apollo" is not better.
  • What is wrong with the title containing the word "Saturn"? SA-1 through SA-5 were for developing the Saturn I. AS-203 supported design of the Saturn V third stage restart capability by investigating the behavior of liquid oxygen in orbit. Apollo 4 and Apollo 6 were primarily tests of the Saturn V rocket (with secondary purpose of validating the Command Module's heat shield at lunar reentry speeds). JustinTime55 (talk) 16:06, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
And if you are worried about over-classifying the template, why did you add the unnecessary column which divides Missions and Components? The template is not horizontally crowded, and no one has complained here about too many columns. Absent a guideline, I don't think it's necessary to preemptively worry about editors fussing. JustinTime55 (talk) 17:45, 7 August 2019 (UTC)

Some very good additions and improvements, nice work. I'm thinking that the Apollo flights section should be moved up as the first section, as that is what the entire program and all the fuss was about. Feels like kind of burying the lead as it is now. Opinions? Randy Kryn (talk) 21:37, 7 August 2019 (UTC)

Lunar Roving Vehicle[edit]

Probably should be added back. The rover was much more than ground equipment, but an essential astronaut-driven vehicle which is as much a part of the Apollo program as the other Apollo crewed components. Randy Kryn (talk) 21:42, 7 August 2019 (UTC)

(sigh) Allright, already. JustinTime55 (talk) 22:06, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
The Rover gives new meaning to Moon race. And check out this LRO image of the Apollo 17 site on its highest resolution File:584392main M168000580LR ap17 area.jpg. Just to the right and a little down of the LEM it looks almost like the rover was driven part way into a crater (haven't heard of that). Randy Kryn (talk) 23:02, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
Incredibly comical that an entire {{Navbox}} child group is being wasted on a single wikilink, though. This navbox is terribly confusing now, and I feel helpless to fix it because every single improvement I attempt to make gets reverted. I give up. – PhilipTerryGraham (talk · articles · reviews) 06:33, 8 August 2019 (UTC)

Mission specific sections[edit]

Even with many missions not being added the individual mission sections seem to feel like a template-size question. The 'Apollo 11 specific' section was added because of the historical nature of the mission and the first landing. The Apollo 15 section followed, and presents its many mission overview articles. But with each mission now being focused on, with some of the items tangential (the Surveyor camera bacteria not really part of the mission and I'm going to remove that), one option could be a combined 'Other mission specifics' if an individual section contains, or would contain, less than four items (i.e. 'Apollo 8: Earthrise etc.) Seem feasible? Randy Kryn (talk) 12:57, 30 July 2020 (UTC)