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This is a bot which is being developed by WDGraham (talk · contribs) to help maintain spaceflight-related articles.


Task A - Orbital elements[edit]

AstRoBot updates orbital elements in spaceflight articles. It runs fortnightly, usually on a Saturday morning (UTC), updating articles which use a specific template, or a parameter set in Template:Infobox spaceflight (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs). Please see Template:Orbit for more information.

See also

Task (2) - AOS listings[edit]

AstRoBot loads lists of pages linked from the {{Orbital launches by year}} templates, grabs the assessment level and page text of each article and creates a brief summary - class, length, infobox used, etc.

See also

Updating orbital elements[edit]

It is fairly straightforward to set the bot up for any article. Before doing so, it is strongly recommended that you notify other editors of your intention to set up automatic updates, either on the article's talk page, or the WikiProject Spaceflight talk page if several articles are affected. As a courtesy, please inform the bot's operator, WDGraham (talk · contribs), that pages have been added to the bot's run.

Only articles about individual spacecraft in Earth orbit are suitable for automatic updating.

Setting up automatic updates

Infobox parameters

These instructions only apply to articles using Template:Infobox spaceflight (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs). For articles using older (or no) infoboxes, use the method given for the article body.
  1. Ensure the orbit_epoch field in the infobox is present and contains some kind of text, preferably an accurate epoch
  2. Ensure the SATCAT field in the infobox is set correctly
  3. Add auto=all, auto=general or auto=orbit or auto=none to the infobox
    auto=general only updates the orbit count
    auto=orbit updates all orbital parameters but not the orbit count
    auto=all updates all orbital parameters and the orbit count
    auto=none does not update the infobox
  4. Add the fields you want updated to the infobox (the bot will update all the relevant fields it can find in the box)
  5. Ensure no new references are present in any of the fields the bot is going to edit (i.e. "<ref>...</ref>") - calling existing references (e.g. "<ref name="..."/>") is fine. Old references should be moved to the article body or deleted as necessary, the bot will add its own.
  6. (optional) Add {{Orbit}} templates to the body of the article if desired (see step 3 below)
The bot will edit {{Orbit}} templates in the body of the article regardless of which setting is used in the infobox
As long as the SATCAT, orbit_epoch and auto fields are set, the SATCAT and current epoch date can be read from the article, eliminating the need

Article body

If Template:Infobox spaceflight (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) is not present you will need to configure a catalogue number and epoch date. If the infobox is present, check that it is set up (see above), and skip to step 3.

  1. Specify the Satellite Catalog Number (SCN)
    1. If the SCN is already present in the article, add {{Orbit|satcat|<SCN>}} around it
    2. If the SCN is not present but can be added to the text, add it using the same format.
    3. If the SCN is not present and cannot be added, add {{Orbit|satcat|<SCN>|hide}} at the end of the article, between templates/navboxes and categories.
    Replace <SCN> with the satellite's catalogue number
  2. Specify the orbit epoch
    1. This should be stated in the text to give context to the orbital elements. Specify it using {{Orbit|epoch|<date>}}
    2. If you cannot state the epoch in the text, use {{Orbit|epoch|<date>|hide}} at the end of the article: however this is not recommended
  3. Tag orbital elements to be updated
    1. Use {{Orbit|<parameter name>|<initial value>}}
    2. A list of parameter names can be found on Template:Orbit/doc
    3. You must enter initial values manually; it is recommended that you use data from Heavens-Above for this purpose.
  4. Add references
    1. Use {{Orbit|ref|<ref name="heavens-above"/>}} - although if this reference is not already defined in the article, you will need to enter a full reference, using {{Cite web}} in the first instance of the template.