- Project News
- News from Orbit
- Article News
- Direction of the Project
- The Charts
|There have been very few discussions relating to the administration of the project in the last month, as things start to settle down after the merger.
An invitation template has been created in an effort to attract new users to the project. Discussion was also held regarding the creation of a list of common templates, however no conclusions were reached. A proposal was made to implement an A-class assessment process, however editors are undecided about whether it would be best to copy the system used by another project such as WP:MILHIST, or to develop one specifically for the requirements of this project.
User:ChiZeroOne has set up a collaboration page in his userspace, initially focussing on articles related to Skylab. Collaboration pages were at one point proposed as part of the structure of the Spaceflight project itself, however no consensus was achieved on the issue. If this collaboration is successful, it could open the door to a reevaluation of that situation.
|News from orbit
Five orbital launches were conducted in February, out of nine planned. The first, that of the Geo-IK-2 No.11 satellite atop a Rokot/Briz-KM ended in failure after the upper stage malfunctioned. The Rokot has since been grounded pending a full investigation; the satellite is in orbit, but has been determined to be unusable for its intended mission. A replacement is expected to launch within the year. A general article on Geo-IK-2 satellites is needed, to supplement those on the individual satellites.
A Minotaur I rocket launched USA-225, or NROL-66, on 6 February following a one-day delay. The second Automated Transfer Vehicle, Johannes Kepler, was successfully launched on 16 February to resupply the ISS. Docking occurred successfully on 24 February, several hours before Space Shuttle Discovery launched on its final flight, STS-133. Discovery docked with the ISS on 26 February, delivering the Leonardo module and an ExPRESS Logistics Carrier to the station. Following several delays, a Soyuz-2.1b/Fregat rocket launched the first Glonass-K1 satellite; Glonass-K1 No.11, on 26 February. It is currently unclear as to whether the satellite has received a Kosmos designation or not.
Seven launches are expected to occur in March. On 4 March, the Glory satellite will launch atop a Taurus-XL 3110 rocket. Three CubeSats will be also be deployed by the Taurus; KySat-1, Hermes and Explorer-1 [Prime]. KySat and Hermes require articles, whilst the article on Explorer-1 [PRIME] needs to be updated. This launch was originally scheduled for February, but following a scrubbed launch attempt, it was delayed.
4 March will also see the launch of the first flight of the second X-37B, atop an Atlas V 501. An article is needed for that flight, which will probably receive a USA designation once it reaches orbit. On 8 March, Discovery is expected to land, bringing to an end the STS-133 mission, and retiring from service 27 years after its maiden flight. On 11 March, a Delta IV Medium+(4,2) will launch the NROL-27 payload. Whilst the identity of this payload is classified, it is widely believed to be a Satellite Data System communications satellite, bound for either a molniya or geostationary orbit. An article for this payload is required. 16 March will see the return to Earth of Soyuz TMA-01M, carrying three members of the ISS Expedition 26 crew.
A Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle is expected to deploy the Resourcesat-2, X-Sat and YouthSat spacecraft during a launch in March. The flight has been delayed several times, and was expected to have launched last month, however it is currently scheduled to occur no earlier than 20 March. On 29 March, an Ariane 5ECA will launch the Yahsat 1A and New Dawn communications satellites. Both currently require articles. On 30 March, a Soyuz-FG will launch the manned Soyuz TMA-21 mission to the International Space Station carrying three Expedition 27 crewmembers.
On 31 March, a Proton-M/Briz-M launch will carry the SES-3 and Kazsat-2 spacecraft into orbit, in the first dual-launch of commercial communications satellites on a Proton. Several other launches may occur in March, however their status is unclear. Last month, a Long March 3B rocket was expected to launch two navigation satellites; Compass-M2 and Compass-M3, however this launch did not take place. It is unclear if it has been delayed to March, or further. The launch of the Tianlian 2 communications satellite on a Long March 3C may also be conducted in March, or possibly April. Both the Compass and Tianlian launches would occur from the same launch pad, which requires a turnaround of almost a month between launches, so it is unlikely that both will happen in March. A Safir launch, which had been expected in February, now appears to have been delayed to April, but given the secrecy of the Iranian space programme, this is unclear.
|Discussion regarding the merger of articles on launch and landing modes seems to have stagnated, with no consensus being reached on any existing proposal. A discussion regarding changes in the sizes of Soviet and American rockets during the 1950s and early 1960s was conducted, with claims that rockets became smaller in that period being dismissed, however it was noted that smaller rockets were developed with equivalent capacity to older ones were developed, as well as much larger ones with increased capacities.
Category:Derelict satellites orbiting Earth was created as a result of discussion surrounding the categorisation of derelict satellites. Concerns have also been raised that satellites are being listed as no longer being in orbit whilst still in orbit and derelict, and a discussion was held on how their status could be verified. An effort to categorise spacecraft by the type of rocket used to launch them is underway, however the categorisation of satellites by country of launch was rejected.
It was reported that a sidebar has been created for articles related to the core concepts of spaceflight. Editors noted that it should only be used for core concepts, and not where it would conflict with an infobox. An anonymous user requested the creation of an article on moon trees. It was pointed out that the subject already had an article, and a redirect was created at the title proposed by the anonymous user.
Concerns were raised regarding the quality of the article Japan's space development. Editors noted that the article appeared to be a poorly-translated copy of an article from the Japanese Wikipedia, although there have been some signs of improvement. Discussion regarding moving the article to Japanese space program is ongoing, however a move request has not yet been filed.
A particular concern was raised regarding false claims in the article Van Allen radiation belt. In one case a scientist to whom one of the claims had been attributed was contacted, and clarified that he had made a remark to that effect as a joke in the 1960s, but was not entirely sure how or why it had been included in the article. Other concerns were raised before the discussion moved to WikiProject Astronomy.
A question was raised regarding the copyright status of images credited to both NASA and ESA, particularly with regard to images of the launch of the Johannes Kepler ATV. The discussion reached no general conclusions, however it was found that the specific images that were suggested for inclusion in the article could be used, since they were explicitly declared to be in the public domain.
A template, Template:Spaceflight landmarks (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs), was created to cover landmarks in the United States that are related to spaceflight. Several sources of public-domain NASA images were also discussed, and it was noted that almost all NASA images are public domain, however there are some exceptions.
It has been proposed that Leonardo MPLM be merged with Permanent Multipurpose Module since the two cover separate uses of the same spacecraft. A review of the article STS-88 has also been requested.
Three new Good Articles have been listed: Mission: Earth, Voyage to the Home Planet, Bold Orion and SA-500D. Orion (spacecraft) was delisted after concerns that it contained out-of-date content. SA-500D is currently undergoing good article reassessment, using the community reassessment method, after the review of its good article nomination was criticised for being lenient and not sufficiently thorough. Mir, Mark E. Kelly and Reaction Engines Skylon have been nominated for Good Article status and are awaiting review, whilst List of Mir spacewalks is undergoing a peer review with a view to it becoming a featured list.
|Editorial: Direction of the Project
|Well folks, its now been more than three months since the discussion that reformed the space-related WikiProjects, and in that time we've had a number of achievements we can be rightly proud of; we've gathered members up to a total of 43, improved awareness of the project via an interview in the Signpost, and refreshed the spaceflight portal into an attractive, up-to-date and useful page. Meanwhile, User:ChiZeroOne has made a sterling effort in clearing up talk page templates belonging to prior projects, we've managed to sort out various policies, started work on rearranging our templates, and User:GW Simulations has begun this excellent monthly newsletter for us. However, there are a few areas of the project that seem to be passing by the wayside, specifically the areas dedicated to fostering collaboration on articles and article sets between the project members, so here I present a call for more collaboration on the project.
Presumably, the lack of collaboration is due to folks not being aware of what's going on, so here's a quick rundown of some of the ways you get involved in the group effort. Firstly, and most importantly, it'd be fantastic if more members got involved in the discussions ongoing at the project's main talk page, found at WT:SPACEFLIGHT. There are several discussions ongoing there, such as the relaunch of the spacecraft template, requests for assistance with various assessment and copyright queries, and conversations regarding category organisations, which affect many more articles, and thus editors, than are currently represented in the signatures so far.
Secondly, it was established earlier on in the project's formation that a great way to attract more editors would be to develop some good or featured topics. There are a couple of efforts ongoing to try to see this idea to fruition, such as the Space stations working group and ChiZeroOne's own collaboration page, currently focussed on Skylab-related articles. These pages, however, have been notably lacking in activity lately, which is a shame, as their aims, given enough editor input, would really see the project furthering itself. Similarly, there are a number of requests for assessment for articles to be promoted to GA class, among other things, on the Open tasks page, which lists all of the activities needing input from members. If everyone could add this page to their watchlists and swing by it regularly, we could power through the good topics in extremely short order! Other things that could do with being added to people's watchlists include Portal:Spaceflight/Next launch, the many templates at Template:Launching/Wrappers and the task list at Portal:Spaceflight/Tasks.
Finally, I'd like to try and get people involved in finally settling the organisational problem we have with reference to the task forces and working groups. Whilst the Timeline of spaceflight working group is a continuation of the old Timeline of spaceflight WikiProject and thus is ticking over nicely and the space stations working group has been mentioned previously in this editorial, the task forces (Human spaceflight and Unmanned spaceflight) in particular are currently dead in the water. I'm unsure as to whether or not this is because people are unaware of their existence, they clash too much with one another and the rest of the project or because people don't see a need for them, but if interested parties could make themselves known and others voice suggestions for getting rid of them, we can decide either if they're worth keeping and get them running again, or do away with a layer of bureaucracy and close them down. Any thoughts on the matter would be much appreciated.
In summary, then, we've got a great project going here, with a nice set of articles, a good editor base and lots of ways of getting involved. Thus, a plea goes out to everyone to get involved, get editing with the other project members, and hopefully we'll see ourselves take off in a manner not dissimilar to the trajectory dear old Discovery took last week. Many thanks for everyone's hard work so far, and poyekhali! :-)
|Since it is useful to keep track of the most viewed pages within the project's scope, it seems like a good idea to continue this feature, which was originally included in last month's issue as a one-off.
Satellite was the most popular article of February, up six places from seventh in December. STS-133 was the highest climber in the top 10, up 78 places from 88th. January's most popular article, Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, dropped seven places to eighth. Moon landing remains ahead of moon landing conspiracy theories for the second month in a row.
Of the top ten, two articles are featured content, two are listed as Good Articles, and the remaining six are assessed as C-class.
For the full list of the top 1,500 popular pages within the project, see Wikipedia:WikiProject Spaceflight/Popular pages (or the archived record for February).
|Selected Article: Europa
|Europa was a rocket developed by a multinational European programme in the 1960s. Consisting of British, French and German stages, it was intended to provide a European alternative to the US rockets used for the launch of most Western satellites to that date. Although the British Blue Streak first stage performed well on all flights, problems with the French and German stages, as well as the Italian-built payload fairing, resulted in the failure of all multistage test flights and orbital launch attempts. The programme was abandoned after the failure of the Europa II's maiden flight in 1971. The article Europa (rocket), describes it:
||The Europa rocket was an early expendable launch system of the European Launcher Development Organisation (ELDO), which was the precursor to the European Space Agency and its Ariane family of launchers. The programme was initiated by the UK and the first launch occurred in August 1967.
Tasks were to be distributed between nations: the United Kingdom would provide the first stage (derived from the Blue Streak missile), France would build the second and Germany the third stage.
The Europa programme was divided into 4 successive projects :
- Europa 1: 4 unsuccessful launches
- Europa 2: 1 unsuccessful launch
- Europa 3: Cancelled before any launch occurred
- Europa 4: Study only, later cancelled
The project was marred by technical problems. Although the first stage (the British Blue Streak) launched successfully on each occasion, it was the second or third stage that failed.
The article is currently assessed as start-class, and is missing a lot of information. It also lacks some basic features such as inline citations. Since Europa was a fairly major programme, enough information should be available to produce a much higher quality article, and it could probably be brought up to GA status with enough effort.
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