Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Spaceflight/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4 Archive 5


Reboot of WPSpaceflight

Well folks, the RfC came to the consensus of abolishing WikiProject Space, so now it's time to reorganise this project - there are several suggestions for tasks listed at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Space/2010 Reorganisation#Restructuring of WPSpaceflight under Option 2, which we need to decide and then act upon; here's to opening the floodgates on a huge amount of work! Colds7ream (talk) 15:26, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Restructuring of WPSpaceflight under Option 2


In summary, this is a condensed list of the start-up actions that have been proposed in a very rough order of when they should be tackled to reduce workload;

  • Yes check.svg Done Scope - Re-evaluate the stated project scope and consider if we need to flesh it out a little, that can be done at the same time as deciding of what task forces to include.
  • Doing... Assessment criteria - Develop a new set of importance (and possibly quality) criteria for the project, possibly based on the HSF criteria.
  • Doing... Task forces - Form consensus on taskforce organisation and execute the required changes.
  • Yes check.svg Done Banner - Create a new project banner with fields for the agreed taskforces.
  • Doing... Apply banner to talk pages - Do a full sweep of articles with the space or HSF banners, replacing them with astronomy or spaceflight banners as appropriate and rating them, if spaceflight, according to the new criteria.
  • Portal merge - Carry out the agreed merge of the spaceflight portals with discussion as to what form the new portal should take.
  • Yes check.svg Done Active/Inactive members - Institute an active/inactive members distinction to allow editors to easily find who is likely around to help.
  • Recruitment drive - Carry out some sort of editor recruitment drive; change the HSF wikiad to represent all of spaceflight, attempt to get the project into the WikiProjects section of The Signpost, and so on. + "The Downlink" newsletter.
  • Yes check.svg Done Popular pages - Consider implementing a "popular pages" to keep track of the quality of highly viewed articles. Perhaps a starting point for collaboration?
The request has been made, and the bot is currently collecting the data.. the list of the most popular 1500 spaceflight articles will be placed in the page Wikipedia:WikiProject Spaceflight/Popular pages (to be created by the bot) within a month. Mlm42 (talk) 19:10, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Guidelines - Will guidelines be centralised and generalised or left to task forces?
  • Yes check.svg Done Identity - Consider identity and look of the project, the current one borrowed from Astronomy doesn’t seem particularly accessible, perhaps consider splitting content with a simple menu like Aviation/Milhist etc do.

I realise there is a desire to keep momentum moving on this reboot, and I realise some things like the newsletter have started so I suggest we work our way down the list as best and as quickly as we can. Please suggest adding/removal or moving of tasks above as appropriate. ChiZeroOne (talk) 04:07, 6 December 2010 (UTC)


A going theory is that we've had all this trouble with endless daughter projects and so on due to a lack of a clearly defined scope for this project, so setting one up is a very important first step, in my view. As for what said scope should be, here's my suggestion: "all hardware (i.e. spacecraft), software and wetware (i.e. astronauts, etc.) designed for operation beyond the Kármán line and placed there by a suborbital or orbital launch vehicle, and the ground-based equipment used to support their missions". Thoughts? Colds7ream (talk) 08:01, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Does this scope include Konstantin Tsiolkovsky? What's wrong with a scope of "Topics related to spaceflight"? Mlm42 (talk) 17:15, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

In a way I think both are right. I think what Mlm42 said on the reorganisation discussion is pertinent here, preferably the project should be about editors, not articles. The likelihood is that any editors signing up or at least using the pages will potentially have interests in a wide range of Spaceflight-related articles, from the spacecraft themselves to the launch vehicles, to notable people in the history of spaceflight etc etc. If the subject is likely to receive more appropriate attention from editors interested in Spaceflight than any other project it may be placed under then it should be within our scope. I think while there may be different styles of article (BLP, organisations etc) there is a need to input knowledge of Spaceflight technology, history and politics which is shared across related topics.

How about something like,

"The scope of this project is all topics directly related to spaceflight. Specifically this includes all hardware (i.e. spacecraft), software and wetware (i.e. astronauts, etc.) designed for operation beyond the Kármán line, the suborbital or orbital launch vehicles that place them there, and the ground-based equipment used to support their missions. Individuals, organisations and historical events directly related to spaceflight are also considered to be within the project's scope.

Articles on subjects of space exploration (Mars, Asteroids etc) are not considered within the scope and these are dealt with by WP:Solar System and WP:Astronomical objects."

Any thoughts? ChiZeroOne (talk) 22:51, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

That mostly sound good to me; I'd reword the last sentence to: "Articles on astronomical objects (such as the Moon, Mars, or asteroids) are not considered within the scope of this project; see WP:Solar System and WP:Astronomical objects". I think it's wrong to exclude all space exploration articles. For example, it's probably best to not include the articles Mars, Jupiter, Moon, etc (even though they are featured!), but I do think we should include articles like Exploration_of_mars and Exploration of the Moon, which are directly related to spaceflight. Mlm42 (talk) 23:17, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. The tagging of Moon, Mars, Jupiter etc (and countless asteroids), is due to the fact that the assessment system was inherited from the old Space Exploration project, which had a badly defined scope. We need to remove them. Space exploration itself is definitely within the project's scope, but the objects being explored should be left to the other projects, as should ways of exploring them that do not involve spacecraft. Now here's a question, should articles such as Hubble Deep Field be included? --GW 00:38, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
That's definitely a borderline case, because it isn't really an "astronomical object", it's an image taken from a spacecraft. So I'd probably say yes to spaceflight, for the same reason I'd say yes to spaceflight for the articles Pale Blue Dot and The Blue Marble (which were already tagged under WP:Spaceflight). Mlm42 (talk) 01:18, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Oops, I meant "Articles on the subjects of space exploration", as in the objects being explored. Articles detailing the exploration of objects by spacecraft would most definitely still be in our scope yes, Mlm42's wording though leaves less room for confusion so I'm happy with that. Good question GW, I was wondering about that one myself. To me the Hubble Deep field is essentially a scientific result of a space mission, if there are other articles on important results from space missions would we include them too? I suspect the editors updating the article on the spacecraft will also be somewhat interested in the data it took. Yeah it's borderline, but I don't think I'd have a problem with its inclusion. ChiZeroOne (talk) 01:46, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I like that scope, ChiZeroOne. :-) Colds7ream (talk) 07:01, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
There seems to me no major objections apart from the rewording so I guess that's done? Minor changes can always be made in due course. ChiZeroOne (talk) 17:12, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
So it would seem! I've put the new scope up on the main project page. Colds7ream (talk) 18:26, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

new tabs for project pages

I've recently added a tab system to the project pages; the style and code is copied from Milhist, but is quite flexible, so the style could change (in particular, the colour?). I'm no expert with these things, so I've probably made some mistakes. Mlm42 (talk) 23:21, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Could we possibly change the colour scheme to match that of WP:HSF and WP:USPACE? Colds7ream (talk) 07:06, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Sure; I've also changed it around a bit, so the tabs looks more like those of Portal:Space. I had been keeping in line with the colour scheme of the Navigation box; but I suppose that could be changed too. Mlm42 (talk) 16:23, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Spaceflight clean-up listing

We now have a WikiProject clean-up listing, which shows that 49% of Spaceflight articles are tagged for clean-up. Yikes! Mlm42 (talk) 22:52, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

Ooooh dear! :-( Colds7ream (talk) 07:53, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Spaceflight banner

I see articles have begun to be tagged with the new Spaceflight banner, so are we rolling this out now? I'm wondering because we have not yet defined such things as the importance criteria, currently it's in an unfinished state. Wouldn't it be an idea to sort that out first, particularly on what we consider are Top/High/mid articles? ChiZeroOne (talk) 19:20, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Or more generally, are we going to sort out the order of when we are going to do the tasks mentioned above? ChiZeroOne (talk) 19:22, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
  • I was using the old criteria until new ones were established, but I'll leave it blank in future articles. Any further changes can be made centrally. Replacing the templates will be a long task, so it is best to at least make a start now. --GW 19:26, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Yep, I'd say replace the banners but leave importance criteria blank for now (unless its something blatantly obvious, like, say, the ISS). Should we copy in the discussion on tasks from the other page, do we think? Colds7ream (talk) 19:33, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Fair enough just thought it would mean less work, I'll start mass-bannering. Secondly is there any objection to creating a shortcut (WPSpaceflight) as a redirect to the current banner, like there is to the Space one? Just it's easier for a casual editor to add the banner then.
Yeah I agree with transferring over the discussion on Spaceflight. ChiZeroOne (talk) 19:47, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Regarding mass bannerings, what about the task force / child wikiprojects? This situation hasn't been settled yet, so it might be worth waiting until it is, because the banner's parameters may still shift. Mlm42 (talk) 20:01, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
I agree but then it is done now, editors are starting to convert to the new template already, given the message warning that WPSpace is deprecated. I feel we are making much more work out of this than need be. ChiZeroOne (talk) 20:42, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm just saying we don't have to replace all the banners right now, and I think the message on the banners has been placed there a little too hastily.. it could result in some wasted time and effort; what's the harm in waiting until the new restructering is more settled? Mlm42 (talk) 20:51, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
I've just removed the notice which was appearing on all talk pages regarding the banner; it's probably better to wait until we have better developed the Spaceflight template (including documentation), not to mention the task force / child wikiproject structure. But I've kept the {{Tdeprecated}} tag. Mlm42 (talk) 22:52, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
J'utilise ma langue natale d'un très vieux pays au long passé dans les domaines de l'astronomie, de l'aviation et de l'astronautique. L'astronomie est une science très ancienne, devant être séparée de l'astronautique, beaucoup plus récente. Tant mieux si maintenant l'astronautique vient à son support grâce aux techniques spatiales. Je ne peux que vous suggérer de ne retenir que deux grands domaines, tels que présentés par la société savante AAAF qui les a bien séparés : aéronautique et astronautique.--Friendly, Kasos_fr (talk) 08:14, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
This was discussed a little here; someone suggested merging WP:Spaceflight into (currently noexistant) WP:AEROSPACE, but it doesn't appear to be getting support. Mlm42 (talk) 22:10, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Which banner should we use for newly-tagged articles? --GW 11:01, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

For now I would use Space since if things are going to change with the new banner then we'll want as few potentially incorrect ones as possible, and we're going to have to go through all the articles tagged with space banners to check if they should be part of the new project anyway. Hopefully this shouldn't take too long anyway. ChiZeroOne (talk) 22:47, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Not really much point anymore since the new banner is still being added to articles by other editors. ChiZeroOne (talk) 02:58, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I've tagged a couple articles which didn't have any banner with the new banner. Mlm42 (talk) 03:09, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
By the way, the WP:1.0 bot is going a bit weird (see the log), because some articles are tagged with both Spaceflight and Space banners, meaning some articles are in multiple assessment categories. This apparently causes the bot to change it's mind everyday which category it wants to use.. sigh. Mlm42 (talk) 03:14, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
Yeah I've added some too now, but I meant other editors mass-tagging. The banner thing is because someone used AWB to convert HSF banners to Spaceflight ones, but the Space banners were left. I think we should just go ahead with the proposed task forces for now, change the banner as necessary and then fix up this mess before it turns into a bigger problem. ChiZeroOne (talk) 03:37, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. Mlm42 (talk) 03:47, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
Agreed also - looks like HSF and USPACE are going to be our initial taskforces anyway, so we might as well get on this. Colds7ream (talk) 08:03, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Disposal of child projects

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

I think the discussion concerning new task forces/working groups will take some time to resolve, but we can deal with the existing child projects now. We need to decide whether TLS should be a working group or not, but on the whole I think the four aspects below can be resolved quickly, allowing us to proceed with those areas of redevelopment and restructuring. There was a proposal to abolish Unmanned spaceflight, but I think the general consensus is that it should be retained, at least for now, until there are sufficient members to support more varied groups.

Do others feel that this would be the correct first step? --GW/P 14:39, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

This seems like a pretty safe move to me. Mlm42 (talk) 18:30, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Works for me, GW. Colds7ream (talk) 18:31, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
It's by no means perfect IMO, but if this means we can keep going with fewest objections then it's probably the best solution for now. We might want to open a running discussion on future task force structure once things have settled. ChiZeroOne (talk) 19:13, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Indeed; I still think it would be better to start with a clean slate, remove WP:Unmanned, and let new task forces be created once they are proposed and discussed. In particular, I'd be against adding an Unmanned Spaceflight task force parameter to the project banner. But for the sake of moving forward, it's sometimes easiest to stick with status quo; so I'd be okay with creating an Unmanned spaceflight task force. Mlm42 (talk) 21:56, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Just to be sure, if we're going to have an unmanned task force for now it should have a banner parameter right? Otherwise there is not much point since we cannot collate articles. ChiZeroOne (talk) 23:23, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
The question remains, do we want to make TLS a working group or not? --GW 21:33, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I'd probably say TLS could be a working group (it seems like a good idea to have a list of members); but I'd also say that it doesn't need it's own parameter in the WP:Spaceflight banner. Mlm42 (talk) 21:48, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I agree with the above if everyone else is happy with it. ChiZeroOne (talk) 23:18, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Unmanned is currently in the template, I would suggest that it remains there until the future of the task force is decided further down the road. It would be far easier to remove it then than it would be to re-add it should we decide that it should be there. In general, I believe that task forces should be included in the banner, and should probably retain importance assessment. Workgroups, if we go down that road, should not have importance assessment, although I feel that it would be a good idea to keep them in the banner, as it is far easier to use a category to list pages under a particular group than it is to keep a list up-to-date, and the template would be the easiest way to categorise them, as well as serving as an advertisement for those groups. --GW 23:21, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
That's right, I suppose a parameter would be easy to forget, but hard to add. So your right, it's probably best to add them all to the template. Mlm42 (talk) 23:27, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Just to let everyone know, I think I've successfully disposed of WikiProject Space Colonisation (except, obviously, for its main page) - let me know if I left anything behind! As an aside, I archived its talk pages at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Space Colonization/Archive. Colds7ream (talk) 13:31, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
ChiZeroOne started to implement the rest, I have moved the pages, and I'll sort the rest out after I've had some sleep. --GW 03:35, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Lost an Operation Paperclip rocket scientist this week

Walter Haeussermann died Wednesday of complications from a fall.[1] There's a fair amount of information available about him on the web for free today, but it will not be available like so in the near future. I have updated the article to reflect his passing, but there is a good deal more info that could be included. I'm not sure where else his passing might be mentioned - portal(s) or elsewhere. -- ke4roh (talk) 01:42, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Project header

Hi folks, I've added a header to the project's main page, using the HSF image as a placeholder. Two things; can someone please move this into the main header template so that it displays on all the pages, and what image do we all think should go in it? Cheers, Colds7ream (talk) 18:57, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, Mlm! :-) Colds7ream (talk) 19:03, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
No problem; maybe we should have a reduced image, or something, on pages which aren't the main page? The header currently takes up a lot of space. Mlm42 (talk) 19:05, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Good idea; any idea how to code that? Colds7ream (talk) 19:07, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Done; I think it works. Mlm42 (talk) 19:29, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Nice! How we just need to decide which picture we want to use... Colds7ream (talk) 19:41, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I've added this image of the ISS (on the main project page); it's not great quality, and there are some reflections, but it still looks pretty good. I kept the spacewalker for the other pages, because the station doesn't look as good when it's small. Mlm42 (talk) 23:36, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Hmm, not sure the background works though with trying to blend in to the header like the other images though. Better if the image's background is either transparent or plain black on all sides, and the object takes up almost all the image. I was personally thinking of something like an image of Hubble with a black space background, its story combines both unmanned and human spaceflight and is iconic. After an admittedly short look I saw one or two okay ones that'd have to be cropped to display right. ChiZeroOne (talk) 23:47, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Maybe the black background could be made truly transparent? All that would be left would be the blue streak of the horizon and the ISS. Mlm42 (talk) 00:07, 8 December 2010 (UTC),
I'm with ChiZeroOne on this one - we need an image which has a transparent background, really. On the other hand, if there's an image everyone really likes, I'm sure the graphics lab could strip the background off it for us. Hubble sounds good to me - how about File:HST-SM4.jpeg? Colds7ream (talk) 08:58, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
There, how's that (on the main page only at the moment)? The only thing that really needs doing to it is getting rid of the fuzz in the bottom-left corner, which needs doing anyway! Colds7ream (talk) 09:00, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
Voilà! Through the magic of the graphics lab, we have a transparent Hubble image on the main page header! :-) Colds7ream (talk) 13:50, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

It's looking good; I like the changing images for the different task forces. But I'm not sure about the second layer of tabs? The task forces (GW, thanks for moving these over, btw) are already linked from the Navigation box, and this seems like a more natural place for them.. I guess we can still have the Project header on pages which don't necessarily have a Tab all to themselves? Mlm42 (talk) 22:31, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Aviation/Aerospace biography task force

I recently stumbled across the Aerospace biography task force, which claims all astronauts and rocket scientists under its scope. Were other people aware of this? This task force seems pretty inactive; and since it's a task force of WP:Aviation, I'm not sure why they broadened their biography task force to include astronauts. Mlm42 (talk) 20:19, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

  • Probably because it's aerospace, and also because most astronauts are/were military pilots before going in for astronaut training, I'd suspect. - The Bushranger One ping only 16:34, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
  • We should probably get in contact and see what the situation is with it - maybe we can recruit some of its editors! :-) Colds7ream (talk) 14:41, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Quality assessment criteria

I think it would be a good idea to formalise guidelines for the assessment of articles in terms of quality. WPSpaceflight has never set formal criteria for assessing articles, and consequently B and C class assessments are based on the assessor's interpretation of the relevant WP:1.0 guidelines, and due to the lack of criteria or a review process, zero articles have been assessed as A-class. Assessment is always going to be subjective, however I believe that by establishing guidelines for assessment we can limit the effect of a difference of opinion upon this. My suggestion would be:

A class
A class is described as being close to the Featured Article criteria. I would therefore suggest that the assessment criteria should be derived from the FA criteria:
  1. The article is well-written and contains no spelling or grammatical errors, it adheres to the relevant sections of the manual of style
  2. The article covers every relevant aspect of its subject in sufficient detail, including background information, but is not unnecessarily long due to trivial or irrelevant information
  3. The article is supported with inline citations to reliable sources for all claims, and these citations are appropriately formatted
  4. The article is accurate and unbiased, none of its content is disputed, and it is not the subject of any edit warring
  5. The article is well structured, consisting of a lead which summarises the rest of the article, and a reasonable number of sections containing more detailed information
  6. The article contains images relevant to the illustrate subject, accompanied with captions and alt text
  7. The article meets all B-class criteria
B class
B class is the only assessment class for which specific guidelines are given by WP:1.0 (bold). I would suggest that we adopt those, with some clarifications and additions to make them more relevant to spaceflight articles (italics). We should also enable the B-class checklist on the assessment template.
  1. The article is suitably referenced, with inline citations where necessary. The citations are not just raw URLs
  2. The article reasonably covers the topic, and does not contain obvious omissions or inaccuracies. Some aspects, particularly the background, may still be covered in less detail than would be desirable, however no critical information should be absent.
  3. The article has a defined structure. This should consist of a lead section and appropriately divided sections.
  4. The article is reasonably well-written. There are no significant errors in spelling or grammar, and no outstanding cleanup issues
  5. The article contains supporting materials where appropriate. This should include relevant images if any are available, and an infobox if one exists.
  6. The article presents its content in an appropriately understandable way although it should not be "dumbed down". Technical terms should be explained or at least linked.
  7. Additionally, that the article meets the C class criteria below
C class
C class is intended to be a step up from start class, but still short of B class. I would suggest that the criteria should be based on the most significant steps towards reaching B class status:
  1. References are provided which cover key and contentious points.
  2. The article has at least the beginnings of a defined structure, with a separate lead section taking shape
  3. Any images in the article which have sufficient source information and licences. If they are free-use this must be verifiable, and if they are fair-use they can be shown to meet the criteria for fair use.

I would appreciate input on these criteria, I'm sure others have better ideas on how to handle this. We will also need to discuss implementing a review process for A class articles. --GW 23:39, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

  • I'd suggest taking a good look at the assessment model used by WP:MILHIST (although they currently obmit C, but that's just about to reach consensus to be added). It works very well. - The Bushranger Return fireFlank speed 02:24, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
These criteria generally look pretty good to me. The C-class criteria could do with something like "Contains a substantial amount of content", or something similar. The Bushranger has a point; something I particularly like about the MILHIST system is the B-class criteria check-list which is built into the project banner. This is a good way to explicitly point to places where B-class fails. I'm not sure about the need for an A-class assessment system; we only have about 50 good and featured articles. On the other hand, it probably wouldn't hurt to start putting an A-class assessment system in place - it might be a good stepping stone to getting Featured articles, in the same was a systematic B-class rating system would be a good stepping stone towards Good article status. Mlm42 (talk) 21:33, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
That is exactly why I am proposing to introduce ACR, I feel that the process would allow more attention to be given to such articles by people who know the subject well, so when it reaches FAC it is easier to get through. The B class checklist can easily be included in our template. --GW 23:16, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Since there have been no objections, I am copying this to the assessment page. We'll need to discuss the A-class review process further before it can be implemented. I've added the checklist to the template. Unfortunately a side-effect of this is that all B-class articles which have not been checked against the checklist will need to be reassessed or they will automatically be downgraded to C-class. --GW 20:01, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

Why no articles on the "Commercial Space Launch Act" (1984) or the "Launch Services Purchase Act" (1990)

I just wandered into the Expendable launch system article where the following (partially sourced) assertions are made in a USA-related section of the article:

On October 30, 1984, United States President Ronald Reagan signed into law the Commercial Space Launch Act.[1] This enabled an American industry of private operators of expendable launch systems. Prior to the signing of this law, all commercial satellite launches in the United States were limited to NASA's Space Shuttle.[citation needed]

On November 5, 1990, United States President George H. W. Bush signed into law the Launch Services Purchase Act.[2] The Act, in a complete reversal of the earlier Space Shuttle monopoly, ordered NASA to purchase launch services for its primary payloads from commercial providers whenever such services are required in the course of its activities.

I was surprised to find no extant Wikipedia article on either one of those two, fairly significant, US laws that made major policy changes in space and space system development. I'm new to the Spaceflight WikiProject. Just wondering if there is a reason for no articles on these important laws, other than merely "no one has ever done it."? Thanks. N2e (talk) 17:18, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

Are they deserving of their own article though, would we have similar articles on laws concerning other space programs? If they meet notability requirements I don't see why you shouldn't make stubs of them. But to answer your question such laws probably wouldn't have been considered as part of the scope of the previous version of the Spaceflight project (and are on the edges of it now), and I don't think there was a coordinated effort to create such articles anyway. Indeed, the point of the current reorganisation is to greatly improve coordination. ChiZeroOne (talk) 18:07, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
My first impression is that they probably meet notability requirements, but I don't know much about them. There are some articles regarding space committees and commissions, such as Advisory Committee on the Future of the United States Space Program and President's Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy; it seems like a fine idea to me, to create articles on specific (notable) space-related laws. Mlm42 (talk) 18:20, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

Working groups

Since we now have a working group, I think it would be a good idea to establish procedures for dealing with such groups, setting guidelines for establishing, running and abolishing them. Clear guidelines should encourage users to propose them, and should help to prevent undesirable groups, such as ones with only one active editor. My suggestion for establishment would be to require new groups be discussed, and find a minimum number of participants. If there is consensus to set one up, and enough editors are interested, then it can be set up, otherwise the proposal is archived, and can be used in future proposals as a source of editors who might be interested. --GW 23:53, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Agreed - we want to make sure we don't end up with pointless groups budding off and immediately going stale. Colds7ream (talk) 17:34, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, that sounds reasonable. The guidelines probably don't need to be too complicated.. Yes, I'd just say they should propose the idea on this discussion page, and if there's consensus to create a task force or working group, then that's it. I don't think there necessarily has to be a minimum number of editors to make a useful task force / working group; one or two dedicated people, after all, can do a lot of things. Mlm42 (talk) 20:12, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
I think that task forces should require a much broader discussion than working groups. I also think that it wouldn't be worth having one-man working groups, the editors might as well just get on with editing, and they can create a group later if others want to join in. Creating such a working group would be a waste of time, and would contribute to the "useless bureaucracy" that we are trying to get rid of. The minimum number of members would be set low, I was thinking three, but two could work. I see the task forces being responsible for general content, having a large scope and many active editors, whilst the working groups would be smaller, more close-knit groups of editors working on a much smaller group of articles, perhaps towards a common goal such as a featured topic. --GW 22:22, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Agreed - they could be more temporary if needed for a specific task like, say, vectorising all spaceflight patches or something. We really need to make sure, though, that we closely control the number of these things popping up. In other news, having had the project running a week or two, I'm wondering about the necessity even for the task forces... Colds7ream (talk) 09:04, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, they don't seem to be doing much, do they? --GW 09:10, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
Exactly - all they seem to be doing at the moment is holding the threat of a split editor base over our heads... Colds7ream (talk) 09:12, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
I think it's a little too early to say. Can't speak for anyone else but I've been busy tagging articles rather than sorting out the project pages yet. We need to have a way to break the work down into more manageable chunks. ChiZeroOne (talk) 11:57, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

Problem with banner

I've just noticed (thanks to the Recognised Content screw-up) that the new banner does not have "|MAIN_CAT = WikiProject Spaceflight articles" parameter for the overall project. The Space banner sent all articles tagged under Spaceflight to Category:WikiProject Spaceflight articles. As I've tagged all the featured/good article content with the new banner it has now all been removed from that category which is why the bot hasn't found any suitable content. I would just add the parameter to the banner but at the moment the above category is quite useful because it shows all the articles that definitely still need re-tagging. What should we do, wait til the new banner has been applied to all articles and then add the parameter? ChiZeroOne (talk) 23:04, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

Ignore, someone's already changed it. Now we can't separate the articles. *sigh* ChiZeroOne (talk) 23:18, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
I've reverted the change to wait to see if anyone else thinks the category as-is is useful. ChiZeroOne (talk) 23:22, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
So what category are the articles going into at the moment then? Colds7ream (talk) 09:01, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
I think they're just going into the assessment categories. Either way, I have reconfigured the WPSpace and HSF templates to add all spaceflight articles to Category:WikiProject Spaceflight articles using deprecated project tags to provide the same functionality, and re-enabled categorisation through WPSpaceflight. --GW 09:06, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
Smoothly done, sir! :-) Colds7ream (talk) 09:17, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
Ah, good idea. Didn't think of that. ChiZeroOne (talk) 11:32, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

Assessment criteria

I've redone the importance assessment criteria table (here), with columns for "Concepts", "Spaceflights and spacecraft", "People" and "Other"; each with an individual description of their importance ratings. Hopefully they are in-line with what others think (much is copied from the HSF assessment scheme, with some modifications); if not, then it's easy to change. Also, more examples could be added.

It occurred to me that the importance ratings are nearly identical (I think) to both the importance ratings of both Unmanned Spaceflight and Human Spaceflight projects. This made me think, maybe we shouldn't bother with individual importance ratings for these projects? They could simply use the quality and importance ratings from spaceflight.. this would make it easier for people doing assessments, without losing very much. At the very least, we could make the HSF and Unmanned importance-assessments optional, and if there is none, then the banners could use the Spaceflight importance-assessment by default. Mlm42 (talk) 18:06, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

  • What are the criteria for assessment of astronauts? The table seems a little vague. What has Surayev done to be considered below-average in terms of notability? Instead, I would suggest that top importance be assigned to Gagarin, Armstrong, Aldrin, Leonov, Lovell and others who are either very well known or have achieved significant firsts. High importance would go to the remainder of the Vostok cosmonauts and Mercury Seven, plus people who have flown beyond Earth orbit, and crews who have died during their missions. Remaining professional astronauts would be classified as mid-importance if they have completed a spaceflight, and low-importance if they have not done so. Non-professional space travellers should be classified as low importance even when flown unless there is a particular reason to classify them higher. --GW 19:35, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
    • GWS's proposal makes a lot of sense to me. - The Bushranger One ping only 20:05, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
    • I agree; I've incorporated most of this into the table now. I don't see the need to single out the 18 people who died in space as high-priority.. for example, I would have guessed Gregory Jarvis gets a mid-rating? Also, I don't see why non-professionals who have been to space are less important than all professional astronauts who have; most examples I can think of (space tourists, Intercosmos cosmonauts) are just as important than other astronauts, if not more so. So I've left this out of the table for now. Mlm42 (talk) 20:15, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  • How do you define the top 10-20 spaceflights? --GW 20:26, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
    • Not sure. But I figured putting a number of it was a good start. Mlm42 (talk) 20:28, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
      • I'd prefer a set of criteria designed to produce a better system, rather than to meet a quota. --GW 20:31, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
        • Okay, feel free to make suggestions. How about "Spaceflights which achieved a significant first"? The problem here is the use of the word "significant".. how is that defined? I think it's actually quite helpful to attach a number to it, because it let's you know "how significant". Mlm42 (talk) 20:35, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
          • Assessment is always going to be subjective. --GW 22:32, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
            • Yes, I know.. I'm not sure I understand what you're suggesting we do. Mlm42 (talk) 22:35, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
              • I'm not. I'm just suggesting that we aren't going to be able to find a perfect solution. --GW 22:41, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The criteria don't make it clear what to do with programmes. My suggestion would be that manned spaceflight programmes get top-importance, high-profile unmanned programmes get high importance, and remaining programmes get mid importance. Cancelled programmes should get mid or low importance, depending on their profile. --GW 17:43, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

But back to my original question: is it worth having importance assessment scales for USF and HSF, which are different from the Spaceflight scale? Mlm42 (talk) 17:12, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Personally, I'd say not - let's stick with one for now. Colds7ream (talk) 17:33, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
I would say yes, although the scales should be redefined to emphasise the task forces' scopes, but I don't feel strongly either way. In response to Colds7ream's "for now", I think that if we choose to do away importance assessment for the task forces, we need to be sure that we won't want to reintroduce it at a later date, since it would be very difficult to do so. --GW 17:43, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
The whole point in us merging the projects was to encourage a reduction in bureaucracy and uniting the editor bases - we only need one set of criteria for the project (and for that matter, one talk page too). Colds7ream (talk) 17:57, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't like the idea of merging talk pages, I think that if the task forces don't have talk pages, then they won't be able to coordinate, and hence will not function. --GW 22:15, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Fair enough, but can you see my point re assessment criteria? Colds7ream (talk) 07:55, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
I think there are arguments on both sides. Certainly we don't need it for the working groups, but the task forces do have much broader scopes, and could benefit from prioritisation. The main downside is the extra work it would add, which probably doesn't justify it. I'd be interested to hear some more opinions. --GW 16:47, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

Progress M1-5 and Deorbit of Mir - a request for comments

Hi folks, some input at Talk:Progress M1-5 would be appreciated; I suggested that Deorbit of Mir be merged into Progress M1-5 as there was a lot of redundancy, but some content copying has occurred and the discussion has stalled; input would be appreciated. Colds7ream (talk) 18:47, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

Article alerts

Hey everyone, I see from this week's Signpost that the article alert bot (which we have delivering to the 'Open Tasks' page) has been updated - I'm not coding guru, so does anyone know if we'll need to change anything to keep it working? Colds7ream (talk) 12:23, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

To be honest I don't think how it is now was right even before the update. The old system required that the subscription template be on the main project page or it could cause problems, and the alerts would be automatically displayed there. If you wanted the list displayed anywhere else you were to add a "display=none" parameter and then transclude the generated list-page directly where you wanted it. We've now moved the subscription template directly to the Open Tasks subpage which I don't think is right.
There however also appears to be a different subscription system with the new bot, Wikipedia:Article alerts/Subscribing, where all are made to a centralised list so I don't think we need the template on the project pages any more and just transclude Wikipedia:WikiProject Spaceflight/Article alerts. Spaceflight has already been added to the list but we may want to add/alter some parameters of the subscription because currently it only collects data on articles that have so far been tagged with the Spaceflight banner, not all articles in the main "Wikiproject Spaceflight articles" category for example. Given that it will be a while before we finish retagging it may be better to use the category system. The documentation on Template:ArticleAlertSubscription lists the features currently enabled and their parameters. ChiZeroOne (talk) 21:40, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
I have made the alterations so we should now get alerts for all spaceflight articles correctly. ChiZeroOne (talk) 21:59, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
Brilliant! :-) Colds7ream (talk) 17:13, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

Help needed

Hello everyone! There's a deletion request at Commons for over 80 files, many of them on the subject of space and space flight. These were thought to be under the copyright of NASA because they were all taken from a remote sensing tutorial on one of its sites. Later it turned out that the author copied the files without noting the sources and many of them might not be free. Now we need to find the original sources, otherwise they will be deleted. Many of these files are extensively used in different Wikipedias, and rescuing them will save everyone a lot of headaches and red links.

The deletion request is here

I've already started working on them and tracked down a couple to NASA and Hubblesite, while others weren't so lucky. Any help in sorting out the rest will be appreciated. Please have a look, you might find something in articles you're working on, that you need to upload locally or find an alternative for, or hopefully find the original free source. Best regards, -- Orionisttalk 00:31, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

We definitely need to rescue the Salyut images, as they will almost certainly be deleted from Commons due to the whole Soviet copyright thing; local uploads it is! Colds7ream (talk) 09:01, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
I think we now have local copies of all of these - would someone please checkme? Colds7ream (talk) 13:37, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

Category for unnamed satellites

Is there a commons category for unnamed man-made satellites?I recently uploaded a few satellite pictures to Commons:Category:NRO_JR_Satellite_Book, but the source (which is designed for children) doesn't specify the satellite names.Smallman12q (talk) 02:38, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

I don't believe there is, it isn't a subcategory of Satellites, you could I suppose place them under the main "Satellites" category. That being said I may be wrong about this but I believe they do not depict real satellites, just generic artist's impressions.
Lastly I think there is a problem with one of your photos, Commons:File:Astronaut on moon.jpg, which appears to be neither an artist's impression or taken on the Moon. It looks like an EVA from an early Shuttle mission. ChiZeroOne (talk) 03:08, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
You're right...that's not the moon! It looks like an EVA...possibly for skylab? I'll create a commons template and category for spacecraft lacking identification in the description.Smallman12q (talk) 05:05, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
I would say STS-51I. Definitely not Skylab - you can see the Shuttle RMS, and Skylab never serviced satellites. --GW 09:03, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
I also think "unidentified" would be better than unnamed, since unnamed would imply that the satellites do not have names, whereas in some of these cases they simply haven't been determined yet. I should add that some of the CGI images may not necessarily be of real satellites. --GW 09:14, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
Looks like one of the early shuttle missions to me, rescuing a commercial satellite? And I second an 'unidentified' template. Colds7ream (talk) 12:55, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
Got it - it's Syncom IV-3 (Leasat 3) being serviced by James van Hoften on STS-51-I (Discovery). :-) Colds7ream (talk) 12:59, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
I've created {{Spacecraft missing information}} and Category:Spacecraft missing information. If you think it should be more specific, feel free to modify. Also thanks for identifying what I had originally mistaken as a moon image 0.oSmallman12q (talk) 13:03, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
You're welcome - and thanks! :-) Colds7ream (talk) 13:23, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
Wouldn't it be more useful to have the category and template on Commons rather than here. --GW 13:39, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
I've put it on both enwiki and commons.Smallman12q (talk) 13:56, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
Excellent, thanks. --GW 18:31, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

Space stations working group proposal

Would there be any interest in forming a space stations working group, with an aim to create featured topics on the ISS, Mir, Salyut and Skylab, as well as to work on articles for Progress and Soyuz missions, expeditions, etc? --GW 15:09, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

I'd definitely be interested in taking part in such a thing (presumably this would lead to the splitting up of the HSF task force?) - it's funny you should suggest this now, as I was looking around the Salyut and Skylab articles this morning musing over the improvements we'd need for a featured topic on occupied space stations... Colds7ream (talk) 15:48, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
If this does result in HSF being superseded, I would suggest that we abolish both task forces. From the direction the project seems to be moving in at the moment, I don't think the task forces will be left with much to do, so there could be an argument for abolishing them, and forming working groups on an ad hoc basis. --GW 16:37, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
Now that's a structure I'd support. Colds7ream (talk) 17:11, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, me too; there was some resistance to merging USF and HSF completely into Spaceflight earlier, but I still think it's a good idea. I'd also support a space stations working group; I think it's a really good idea to aim for a featured topic or two! Mlm42 (talk) 18:00, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
Mlm, are you saying that you would be interested in participating in the working group, or just in supporting that structure? The number of initial participants would affect assessment of the practicality of forming such a project. --GW 18:25, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
Sorry I wasn't clear; yes, I'd definitely be participating in such a working group. Mlm42 (talk) 21:16, 25 December 2010 (UTC)
That's three members with no objections forthcoming, so I'm going to go ahead and set that up. --GW 08:38, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Happy Christmas!

Just a quick note to wish a very happy Christmas to everyone! Hope it's a great one! :-) Colds7ream (talk) 08:42, 25 December 2010 (UTC)

Merry Christmas to you! :) Mlm42 (talk) 21:24, 25 December 2010 (UTC)
Merry Christmas everybody. ChiZeroOne (talk) 21:29, 25 December 2010 (UTC)

Scope Mk2

I just wanted to check other's views on the limits of the scope of the project on a few articles I've been tagging. We've separated "astronomical objects" from our scope but would phenomena important to spaceflight (for example hazards) be included such as the Van Allen radiation belt? Also ground stations (specifically ones for satellite communication) and facilities like Yuanwang be included? I suggest there's a good argument for both. ChiZeroOne (talk) 17:18, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Ground stations are included in the current scope anyway, aren't they? Colds7ream (talk) 17:57, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
I wasn't sure if it was just spaceports and launch pads that were in mind when "ground-based equipment" was suggested. ChiZeroOne (talk) 18:04, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

ToDo List

Just to let everyone know, I've merged the SPACEFLIGHT and HSF ToDo lists, and the result can now be found at Portal:Spaceflight/Tasks. I know this is a part of the project's pages which hasn't really been used in the past, but I feel that, if everyone keeps it updated and on their watchlists, it might be an excellent way of letting folks know what needs doing and encouraging collaboration. Thanks, Colds7ream (talk) 18:40, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

On a related note aren't "Spaceflight featured article candidates", "Spaceflight good article candidates", "Spaceflight articles for which peer review has been requested", and "Spaceflight articles for which deletion has been requested" all redundant now that article alerts is back up and (sort of) running? ChiZeroOne (talk) 19:56, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
A very fair point! That saves some work updating the list... Colds7ream (talk) 23:46, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Article Alerts

Note:There's a small problem with our alerts at the moment which could be due to a bot bug. If anyone notices an article that should be appearing in Article Alerts but is not could they please notify me as it may give clues as to what's going on. Thanks. ChiZeroOne (talk) 22:16, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

Speaking of bugs, why isn't the ISS showing up as an FA under recognised content? --GW 18:48, 25 December 2010 (UTC)
I think that's because of the problem above with the banner that it was not assigning articles to the correct category. ISS was one of the earliest articles converted over to the new banner and so was among the first to be removed. It should return, along with the others not yet on the list, the next time the bot updates. ChiZeroOne (talk) 21:19, 25 December 2010 (UTC)

I think the Article Alerts bug has now been fixed, and the Recognised Content has updated too. ChiZeroOne (talk) 19:34, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Project library?

Whilst in the pub last night, I had a thought that I'd like to share! :-) I have vague recollections of seeing some user pages where editors offer out the loan of their personal book collections to aid other editors in finding sources, and I wondered if there would be any interest in running a shared library within this project, where we could list the books we have and members could request them out on loan? For instance, I've got several space station and space shuttle-related books that I presume would also be useful to others? Thoughts? Colds7ream (talk) 12:36, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure about physically loaning the books out, but I could certainly make mine available should people want me to look things up for them. --GW 12:54, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
I guess it would be entirely up to the book owners whether to provide a loan or lookup service - we could make a list of titles that everyone has and how they are offering them? Colds7ream (talk) 13:33, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

A request for assessment

Hey folks! Just completed my first draft of Mir, and I'd be grateful if someone wouldn't mind doing a B-class assessment for me; I'll be sending it for peer review afterwards, then hopefully GAN. Colds7ream (talk) 15:09, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

Cheers GW - much appreciated. Anyone any good at copyediting? :-) Colds7ream (talk) 12:25, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Pageview stats

After a recent request, I added WikiProject Spaceflight to the list of projects to compile monthly pageview stats for. The data is the same used by but the program is different, and includes the aggregate views from all redirects to each page. The stats are at Wikipedia:WikiProject Spaceflight/Popular pages.

The page will be updated monthly with new data. The edits aren't marked as bot edits, so they will show up in watchlists. You can view more results, request a new project be added to the list, or request a configuration change for this project using the toolserver tool. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let me know. Thanks! Mr.Z-man 00:53, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

This is great; thanks. Looking at the top 50 articles on the list is a bit of an eye-opener.. for example number 17 - Moon landing conspiracy theories, is just ahead of number 18 - Moon landing.. oh dear. Mlm42 (talk) 01:56, 1 January 2011 (UTC)


As some of you may be aware, I have started to draft a project newsletter. I think that it would be best if the first issue sent out is an introduction, and subsequent issues will carry content. I suggest that we release it monthly, in the first week of each month, with each issue carrying news of new members, major discussions within the project, new featured/good/A-class content and items which have appeared on the main page. Does anyone have any comments on the layout of the newsletter, whether or not it should be published, how new content should be decided, and anything that should be added/removed. One idea I had was having a "selected article", but with a twist - it would be a start or stub class page in need of improvement, to encourage editors to contribute to it. Either way, my suggestion would be to get the introductory issue out before the end of the month, and start publication of the newsletter proper in January. Are there any objections to this? --GW 21:42, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

It sounds good. The newsletter may be a good opportunity for editors to state what they are currently working on, recent achievements they are proud of, or future goals. This could be a natural way to encourage collaboration on articles. Mlm42 (talk) 22:16, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Liking the sound of it, GW - might I suggest a section of 'News from Orbit', where we could detail recent goings-on in the field, possibly encouraging edits that people may not have thought about making before? Colds7ream (talk) 22:23, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
By the way, I've been assuming the intention of this newsletter is so that it gets delivered to the members' talk pages.. is that right? Mlm42 (talk) 22:47, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Indeed! Like The Signpost and The Bugle. Colds7ream (talk) 22:58, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Does anybody have any objections if I update the "Issue Zero" and distribute it to let members know what is going on? --GW 22:24, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Fine by me. Are you going to distribute to all members, or only the active ones? Mlm42 (talk) 23:26, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
All of them. Might get a few of the inactive ones interested again, or at least remind them we're here. I'll set up an opt-out system for future deliveries. --GW 23:38, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
I'll send this tonight unless there are any objections. --GW 17:17, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
I have requested delivery --GW 15:28, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Bot seems to be delivering now. --GW 16:27, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Delivery is complete. Bot reported three delivery failures; two for indefinitely blocked users and one false positive. I don't see any point in making manual deliveries to the indefs. --GW 16:45, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── How's about this for a structure for the newsletter?

  • Editorial of some description.
  • Ongoing requests for assistance, both locally on en-WP and elsewhere.
  • Project operational news.
  • Section focussing on specific members, say four or five per month?
  • 'News from orbit' section, to bring everyone up-to-speed on recent goings on we'll have to write about.

Obviously, not necessarily in this order... Thoughts? Colds7ream (talk) 09:08, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

I don't think we need both the specific members section and an editorial. I would suggest that we encourage members to contribute both editorials or articles about their current work, and include one per month (two if we have a backlog). My suggestion would be:
  • Project news (including a brief summary of open project-related discussions and newly recognised content)
  • "News from orbit"
  • Requests for assistance and a brief summary of content related discussions
  • Editorial/Article
  • Selected article (see above)

What sorts of requests for assistance from "elsewhere" were you thinking of? --GW 16:50, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

Commons, for example - like the 'Help needed' section below? Colds7ream (talk) 17:11, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
Makes sense as long as we've got a way of keeping track of them --GW 17:20, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

Given the discussion below regarding the possibility of forming a Space Stations working group and trying to get some FTs, I've pencilled in an editorial on "Space Stations and the Push for Featured Topics" for the first issue, with Salyut 2 as the selected article. Does anybody have any objections to this? --GW 18:23, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

Liking it, GW - I'm curious, however, as to how you're going to write a piece about such a short article? Colds7ream (talk) 16:45, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
My plan for that section is a short introduction, followed, in theory, by an extract from the article. In practise, for Salyut 2 the "extract" will be all of the prose in the article. --GW 16:58, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
I have finished issue 1, and requested delivery. It should arrive at some point today. --GW 13:26, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
...and I've verified it - liking this a lot, GW - let's hope it gets people involved! :-) Colds7ream (talk) 14:27, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. My copy just arrived. --GW 14:47, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

Atmospheric reentry

Atmospheric reentry naming is under discussion, see talk:Atmospheric reentry, where the definition, usage, and relation to natural phenomena, and balance is noted. (talk) 20:15, 2 January 2011 (UTC)


I've just tagged Intercontinental ballistic missile with the Spaceflight WikiProject banner. There appear to be quite a few ICBM-related articles which are not tagged with the Spaceflight banner.. am I correct in assuming all ICBM-related articles are under the scope of this project? The V-2 is often cited, after all, as being the first ever "spaceflight".. but it seems the first successful V-2 flight (in 1942) didn't reach 100 km (according to List of V-2 test launches); the first one to do so was in June 1944, according to Spaceflight before 1951 (although I'm not clear on the references for this).

But according to the article Spaceflight, "sub-orbital flight is not considered a spaceflight in Russia." Really? Is there a reference for this? We should be making sure we present a world-wide view here; so when making spaceflight lists, it's probably best to explicitly say "reaching 100 km", instead of just "reaching space". Mlm42 (talk) 22:30, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

I tagged the V-2 for a number of reasons; not only that it was the first man-made object in space but even more so that it was instrumental to the development of spaceflight, it is the progenitor of all launch vehicles developed so far. The history of acquiring the V-2 equipment and the brains behind it was hugely important to the early spaceflight programs of both the US and the USSR. Personally I'm not convinced of ICBM's generally being in our scope. ICBM-derived launchers yes, ICBMs themselves not so much. I think it gives us too much overlap with WP:Rocketry for only an incidental impact on Spaceflight.
The only source I've seen so far for the Russian statement is this Universe Today article. I'm uncertain about the veracity of the claim but even if it were true, defining the boundary of spaceflight by the Russian version would be no better than using the US definition of who qualifies as an astronaut (80 km). We use the Kármán line as that is the definition of astronautics from the appropriate international body. Besides, I suspect the only reason why "sub-orbital flight is not considered a spaceflight in Russia." is because it means the Soviets conducted the first spaceflight. I don't think we should be promoting a national insecurity. ChiZeroOne (talk) 16:04, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I noticed that Universe Today article; unfortunately it was written after the statement had appeared in Wikipedia.. but now we can provide a reliable source for this statement! The word "Wikiality" comes to mind. We should probably find a better source, or remove the statement.
Regarding ICBM's, when launched they (usually?) travel above 100 km, so they are taking part in spaceflight, are they not? Several ICBM's are listed in Spaceflight before 1951, so on what grounds are we excluding them from the project? Indeed, according to the definitions in the articles, ICBM's are spacecraft. Are you suggesting we modify our definitions? Mlm42 (talk) 17:13, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
Yeah I agree about the sourcing for the statement. As for the ICBMs, it would be no different to how we excluded objects that have been explored during spaceflight/exploration, because there is too much overlap with other projects to which they are more appropriate. We would then have Launch vehicles, sounding rockets, ASATs and ICBMs under our scope otherwise. As I said this was just a personal opinion, I'm not too bothered either way, but that's the reason why I haven't included them so far. ChiZeroOne (talk) 17:46, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
Obviously only vehicles capable of reaching 100km would warrant inclusion, and the rest would be wholly within the scope of Rocketry, and in any case I don't think an overlap is a huge problem. I don't think we should cherry-pick which spaceflights we include and which ones we don't. We should either include all rockets capable of reaching space, or exclude them all. --GW 22:05, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Canada and mining technology for the moon

According to this source—a panel discussion at the Space Studies Institute’s Space Manufacturing 14 conference in October 2010[3]—Canadian mining engineering manager and professor Greg Baiden has been working for four years with the Canadian Space Agency in building a "strategic plan for how we are going to mine the moon." This is at approx. 17:30 mins. in the video; but Baiden's talk starts at about 16 mins. in.

Question: Is this really happening? Is it public? If so, is it something that ought to be reflected in the Canadian Space Agency article? ... or elsewhere? I have started a discussion on the CSA Talk page.

I see that the CSA article is of high-importance to the WikiProject Spaceflight project scale, so thought I should let others know about it to see of other's want to weigh in. Or if perhaps we have any Canucks monitoring this project who might have some ideas of how to learn more about the public aspects of this project. Cheers. N2e (talk) 01:27, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

I've replied to this on the CSA Talk page. Mlm42 (talk) 02:27, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Space Interferometry Mission

Space Interferometry Mission needs to be updated following the cancellation of the mission. It is currently a GA, but I am seriously considering sending it to GAR if it isn't updated soon, and I don't have time to do it myself. Can anybody help? Thanks --GW 13:41, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Can you give us a source on the cancellation to get started? Colds7ream (talk) 13:01, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
It's on the SIM homepage. --GW 13:08, 7 January 2011 (UTC)


I have conducted a GA reassessment of Experimental Assembly of Structures in EVA and Assembly Concept for Construction of Erectable Space Structures. The article needs a lot of work, I would currently assess it as being a poor C-class article. Improvements are needed if it is to retain GA status. The review is at Talk:Experimental Assembly of Structures in EVA and Assembly Concept for Construction of Erectable Space Structures/GA2 --GW 22:50, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

Article titles

Naming, and particularly disambiguation of spacecraft names and programmes is currently a mess. I think it would be a good idea to adopt some form of guideline to standardise it. I believe the current issues are:

My personal preference for disambiguation would be to use "(spacecraft)" for all manned and cargo spacecraft, vehicles operating outside of geocentric orbit and spacecraft not designed for independent flight (ie. that intentionally remained attached to the rocket's upper stage). Everything else could use "(satellite)". I don't think that alternative names should ever be used as a parenthetical disambiguator. I'm not sure about the others. --GW 10:27, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes, we should have some standardized advice for the disambiguation. Having "(spacecraft)" and "(satellite)" as the usual disambiguators seems like a good idea. There is the subtlty of Deep Impact, for example, being about both the spacecraft itself and the associated mission (indeed, the article is mostly about the mission); but I doubt there would be any confusion over the title "Deep Impact (spacecraft)". Other disambiguators, like "(SA-6)", or "(Astro-F)" should clearly be removed, or changed to something like "(spacecraft)".
Generally speaking, for article titles, as per Wikipedia:Article titles, we have to determine what the "Common name" is. For example, is the SpaceX Dragon usually referred to as "SpaceX Dragon"? A Google search reveals it is often simply called the "Dragon spacecraft", so we should probably rename to "Dragon (spacecraft)". As another example, there are more Google hits for "Helios spacecraft" than for "Helios probes", so we should probably rename to "Helios (spacecraft)"; also "Philae (spacecraft)" as per this webpage.. etc. Mlm42 (talk) 17:00, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
Have to agree with the above issues, currently titles are all over the place. The proposals so far seem good. For the manufacturer thing, I think that is often because they are quoted as such in the media. E.g "NASA plans to rely on the SpaceX Dragon capsule for ISS crew transport" etc. It's not necessarily an indication of a common name, it's written that way for context. As for the capitalisation of acronyms (not sure why trademarks is important here), it does appear to be a problem. On a related note, one bugbear I've come across is non-initial acronyms like EXOSAT which are common in spaceflight and aren't addressed in the MoS. When there is no clear preferred form, even ESA itself has no consistent way of representing the name (either EXOSAT or Exosat), it's a bit pick 'n mix over the form adopted. "Common name" should be respected also but there are currently no guidelines when the common name isn't clear so I'd support the creation of one. ChiZeroOne (talk) 18:08, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
While we're on the subject, I'm reminded of this discussion of the article called Experimental Assembly of Structures in EVA and Assembly Concept for Construction of Erectable Space Structures (which is somehow a GA? Its entire GA review, btw, was "This article meets the Good Article criteria and has therefore passed"). Mlm42 (talk) 19:13, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
Ouch. Also, on the subject of manufacturer's names, both WP:ROCKETRY's and the weaponry task force of WP:MILHIST's naming standards do not include the manufacturer's name for rockets/missiles in any of their suggestions (which is different from WP:AIR's aircraft standards, but...) - The Bushranger One ping only 19:22, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

I've started the page Wikipedia:WikiProject Spaceflight article titles. By the way, it appears Dragon (spacecraft) already exists as a disambiguation page.. but I think we should move the SpaceX Dragon article there, with a hatnote link to Dragon (rocket). Mlm42 (talk) 21:55, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

I've moved the titles page to a subpage of the project, since we seem to be presenting it as a project guideline, that seems to be a better place for it. On the subject of EASE/ACCESS, I have conducted a GA reassessment of the article in which I have demonstrated that it does not only fail to meet the GA criteria, it also fails half of the B class criteria. --GW 22:50, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
I just read this section this morning. Great idea to work on this. I will look at it; I may not get over to it a frequently as some of you but I do also care about naming conventions (descriptors). Feel free to invite me over to an issue/subject that needs a wider set of eyes if I'm not already there. Good on ya' N2e (talk) 17:22, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
I have started to implement the parts which appear to have consensus (namely the disambiguation issue). Akatsuki and Deep Impact require page deletions which I have requested under G6. --GW 18:10, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
  • For the Japanese spacecraft, I would suggest that we use the post-launch names as in general they seem to be more commonly used. For the Apollo missions, I would prefer something like Apollo A-101 or A-101 (spacecraft). Does anyone have any input on this? --GW 18:49, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

New Article page?

Having just created a few new pages for sounding rockets, I was wondering if maybe the project should have a 'New articles' page like WP:AIR does? Like so. - The Bushranger One ping only 04:50, 16 January 2011 (UTC)


It seems to me that Category:Space exploration should be merged into Category:Spaceflight. Does anyone know why these two very closely related categories are separate? Mlm42 (talk) 00:25, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Because there are people who seem to think all spaceflight is exploration, and therefore exploration should be the master category. I ran into the same problem when trying to rename the "years in space exploration" categories, which is why we have two separate category structures for that. If we can get the project behind a multi-category CfD to get rid of all or most of the exploration categories, then it would probably have more luck. --GW 11:56, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
Sounds like a good plan to me. Colds7ream (talk) 12:24, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
Some sub-categories of each of those are more appropriate in the other one anyway! The "years in space exploration" thing is strange too, we have two entirely separate lists of categories where articles are often nonsensically categorised anyway. Apparently Telstar was engaged in exploration(?) but not spaceflight... There is an argument for Category:Space exploration to be a sub-category of Category:Spaceflight but I doubt the distinction will be maintained that well. It's probably best merging them all. ChiZeroOne (talk) 21:58, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I'd be in favour of a multi-category move, merging "space exploration" categories into "spaceflight" categories, as GW suggests. The distinction seems unhelpful and confusing. In particular Category:Space exploration into Category:Spaceflight; Category:Space exploration timelines into Category:Timelines of spaceflight; Category:Years in space exploration into Category:Years in spaceflight; and every "[XX] in space exploration" into "[XX] in spaceflight". Did I miss any? Mlm42 (talk) 01:50, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
There are also a few non-content categories which we could take care of at the same time. Category:Space exploration templates, Category:Space exploration infobox templates, Category:Space exploration stub templates, Category:United States space exploration templates. I've also requested speedy deletion of Template:WikiProject Space exploration/Members which seems fairly useless. I also found Category:Wikipedians interested in space exploration, but that might qualify as an exception. On another note, we have separate categories for Spaceflight and Spaceflights, which might need looking at. Category:Future spaceflights should probably be put out of its misery as well. --GW 21:59, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
All sounds good to me.. as for the Category:Spaceflights, I agree this should be better organized somehow.. often articles are about both the spacecraft and the spaceflight, so it's unclear to me how best to categorize them. The categories "[XX] in spaceflight" by year are useful; along these lines, maybe we could have categories like Category:Spacecraft by type, or Category:Spaceflights by program. But anyway, this is a separate issue.
Should we go ahead and start a CfD discussion regarding the merge of "space exploration" categories into "spaceflight"? Mlm42 (talk) 23:42, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
The only articles that would seem to me to be suitable for Category:Spaceflights are ones like Mir/ISS expeditions, STS missions etc. If it were actually used for missions and expedition pages that were separate from their spacecraft then that category could still be useful. As you say many of the articles listed there are about both the spacecraft and the flight. Yes I'd be happy with a CfD, maybe we should make a list of all the categories involved? ChiZeroOne (talk) 00:32, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
In response to GW, what's the problem with Category:Future spaceflights? Seems fine to me and is useful for TLS surely? ChiZeroOne (talk) 00:32, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
It was always intended as a feeder category for Template:Future spaceflight (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs). When that was deleted, it lost its purpose, and hasn't been updated properly since. There are better ways to keep track of future missions. --GW 23:50, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
I've set up a CfD for the exploration categories: Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2011 January 10#Space exploration categories. I've left the other ones out of it for now, since they seem to warrant more discussion. --GW 23:50, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
Awesome; that discussion was just closed, and Cydebot appears to be in the middle of making the changes. Mlm42 (talk) 20:07, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

template:Rocket specifications-all

{{Rocket specifications-all}} has been nominated for deletion. (talk) 04:38, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

I just went over there and found the TfD nomination had been withdrawn by the nominator. However, the nominator is quite correct in my view that this (apparently older and) totally undocumented template, on which is it impossible to tell how much it is being used due to substituting, is likely to get nominated again and again until some decent doc is added. I don't have sufficient template knowledge to doc a template. Does anyone here? N2e (talk) 23:46, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
In addition, is there any way this ancient, clunky template could be streamlined/replaced by something rather better-looking and easier-to-use, perhaps along the lines of {{Aircraft specs}}? - The Bushranger One ping only 00:13, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
Most of the specifications in rocketry articles were either moved to the infobox or converted to prose. This was implemented some time ago, these templates are just remnants from that. I would suggest the same action be taken with them. --GW 00:45, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
Personally I think the rocketry infoboxes are oversized as it is, without adding thrust (and from multiple stages, to boot) to them... - The Bushranger One ping only 00:58, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

List of Mir spacewalks

Hi folks, got a bit of a problem with the List of Mir spacewalks, which I've been reformatting recently; I've only got three references for the article, and, as I'd like to get it up to Featured List standards, that's probably going to be an issue. Thus, I'd like to request some help gathering more citations - in addition, any other comments you have about it (which I based on List of ISS spacewalks) would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Colds7ream (talk) 17:27, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Consensus, please, on apogee listed in Infobox space mission

Most early U.S. Earth orbital missions were launched into a (nearly) circular low Earth orbit, of around 100 nautical miles (190 km), and the initial parameters are usually what people have been putting into the infobox, perhaps assuming that these stay constant for the duration of the mission. But some missions deliberately change orbit as part of the mission requirement; a common example is to raise the apogee. (Examples: Apollo 4 and Apollo 6, which went several thousands of miles (km) out in order to partially simulate the Moon mission.) What is the intent of the infobox, which isn't documented? Shouldn't the apogee given in cases like this be the maximum one reached during the mission? Or was the intent to give only the initial launch orbit? JustinTime55 (talk) 21:46, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

  • I'd say that the ultimate apogee should be the one listed. Perhaps the infobox should be modified to include an "initial orbit" parameter? - The Bushranger One ping only 21:56, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps a mean average? That's certainly the value I've entered in the infobox for Mir; meanwhile, I keep the ISS infobox with a reasonable up-to-date value, generally changing it whenever one of the other values change. Colds7ream (talk) 22:42, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
  • My understanding is that most of these values were copied from NASA's NSSDC catalog; for example here is the Apollo 4 entry. And although I don't know for certain, I think that catalog lists the initial orbit data (we should probably confirm this somehow). In any case, since the apogee clearly changes over the course of a mission, for clarity one could say more in brackets. For example, "Apogee: 188 km (initial orbit)", or something like that. Mlm42 (talk) 23:33, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the ideas, guys. I guess part of the problem is inherent in the "one-size-fits-all" design of a template, but on the other hand we don't want to make the template needlessly complicated. For these missions, I guess the best, simplest solution in this case is to make Apogee a two-line entry with (initial) and (maximum). JustinTime55 (talk) 17:22, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

HSF banner removed

The last of the transclusions of the HSF banner have now been converted over to the new template. ChiZeroOne (talk) 07:52, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Magnificent! :-) Colds7ream (talk) 19:36, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes, indeed. Thanks ChiZeroOne for your tireless efforts in that regard! N2e (talk) 17:15, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Category:WikiProject Spaceflight articles using deprecated project tags is now finally empty! :-) There are still more articles with a Space banner but never tagged under spaceflight though. ChiZeroOne (talk) 17:50, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
Congratulations that man - a stellar effort! :-D Colds7ream (talk) 18:39, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

WP Spaceflight in the Signpost

"WikiProject Report" would like to focus on WikiProject Spaceflight for an upcoming edition of The Signpost. This is an excellent opportunity to draw attention to your efforts and attract new members to the project. Would you be willing to participate in an interview? If so, you can find the interview questions here. Just add your response below each question and feel free to skip any questions that you don't feel comfortable answering. If you have any questions, you can leave a note on the interviewer's talk page. Have a great day. –Mabeenot (talk) 23:28, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Looking at previous WikiProject Reports usually a few members contribute, perhaps it would be a good idea if the rest of us participate? ChiZeroOne (talk) 20:19, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, sounds good; why not? :) Mlm42 (talk) 22:14, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
Please do, folks - I'm gonna look all lonesome by myself! :-) Colds7ream (talk) 16:50, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
I threw in my two cents. N2e (talk) 15:04, 24 January 2011 (UTC)


In May 2010, I added a mission timeline section to STS-88. At that time, the article was rated as a Start-Class article. Now, the article is rated as a C-Class article. What changes need to be made to make STS-88 a better article? Basketball123456 (talk) 16:51, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for making improvements to that article; I haven't read it in detail, but you appear to be requesting that somebody assess it against the B-class criteria. There are 6 criteria (which can be found here), and you evaluate each one by adding them to the banner. As an example, I've added that it satisfies criteria 5 to the banner (i.e. it contains enough supporting materials, which it appears to). If all 6 are satisfied, then it becomes B-class - which is the highest rating this project can give it, at the moment. GA and FA status are done elsewhere.
Along these lines, I suppose we should have a place where people can add requests for B-class assessments. I'll try adding this to our assessment page. Mlm42 (talk) 17:49, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Yuri Gagarin

With the 50th anniversary quickly coming up of the first man in space, we should try to get his page featured and on the main page that day. And, by we, I mean someone who is better at bringing articles up in quality then I am. I can help write but it has been a long time since I have navigated the Featured processes. Rmhermen (talk) 22:16, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

Do we have anyone who's particularly good with bios? Most of us write about machines! :-S Colds7ream (talk) 18:54, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Non-rocket spacelaunch

The author of topic “Non-rocket spacelaunch” does not know about many new non-rocket space launch systems which developed in last 10 years. The information is very backward/ I advice him to read the following books and articles:

1) “Non Rocket Space Launch and Flight”. Elsevier, 2006. 488 pgs.   

2)“New Concepts, Ideas, Innovations in Aerospace, Technology and the Human Sciences”, NOVA,

     2007, 510 pgs.  
 3)  “Macro-Projects: Environments and Technologies”, NOVA, 2008, 536 pgs.
  4) “New Technologies and Revolutionary Projects”, Scribd, 2010, 324 pgs, 
  5) Magnetic-Space-Launcher.
 6) Magnetic Space AB-Accelerator.  

7) AB Space Engine. 8) AB Levitrons and their Applications to Earth's Motionless Satellites.

9) AB Levitrons and their Applications to Earth's Motionless Satellites.

10) Wireless Transfer of Electricity in Outer Space. 

11). Beam Space Propulsion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:21, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for your comment; there isn't a single author of that article (see here for its list of past changes). Indeed, you could be bold and update the page yourself! Mlm42 (talk) 18:37, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
This is an issue that should be brought up on the article's talk page. All I can see there is, like here, an improperly added comment to an old section. There is almost always no single "author" of an article so your advice is misplaced. In addition, I assume from the similar comments on that page that you are the same person as user BKruglyak (talk · contribs)? It would appear editors have answered your comments before on this issue.
Having a quick look at the examples you provide it would appear many of these are rather fringe concepts (mostly from the same author) which are unlikely to have received mainstream attention as yet, wikipedia isn't a collection of fringe ideas.
I suggest you use the "New section" button on the top of the screen to add comments, also please sign your comments using four tildes, ~~~~, at the end. Thank you. ChiZeroOne (talk) 19:00, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
NOTE to WikiProject Spaceflight folks: This discussion actually appears to have been going on, on the article Talk page, in very fragmented and disjointed form, for a couple of years now. See comment by User: on 02:17, 17 June 2010 (UTC), or User:BKruglyak on 01:32, 13 June 2008 (UTC). (I did not read the comments in detail, nor carefully compare with the above assertions of User: (18:21, 29 January 2011 (UTC)) above on this Talk page. But the conversation seems rather similar at a surface scan level, and the IP addresses are close. Cheers. N2e (talk) 21:44, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

expansion of Infobox spacecraft

It has been suggested (here) that the template {{Infobox spacecraft}} be expanded to include manned spacecraft as well, such as the SpaceX Dragon, Shenzhou (spacecraft), and Apollo Command/Service Module; all three of these articles have hard-coded their own infoboxes (the Shenzhou one is lower down the page). It seems like a reasonable idea to me; in fact, it may be worth attempting to merge {{Infobox space station}} into {{Infobox spacecraft}}; but on the other hand, maybe this is too much. Thoughts? Mlm42 (talk) 00:08, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

My suggestion, and I've had a bit of talk about this issue with User:Plastikspork and will point him at this ;) Cheers, Jack Merridew 00:32, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm all for the inclusion of manned spacecraft. Just let me know if you want any assistance with the coding. Plastikspork ―Œ(talk) 00:39, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
I've been discussing this issue with n2e for a while now, and I've begun placing potential parameters for a family of templates at User:Huntster/Sandbox/2. The idea is to unify and simplify the existing infoboxes, while hopefully making them a little more robust against changes in how our spacecraft are used going forward. Any suggestions and comments are welcome. Huntster (t @ c) 03:04, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
IMHO, a unified template would be excellent, although it'll probably take a while to convert all articles over to a new template. Colds7ream (talk) 19:38, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, that's my biggest concern, so I'm trying to figure out ways to ease any such transition. Huntster (t @ c) 23:30, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
MORE REVIEW IS NEEDED: Hey Mlm42, Plastikspork, Jack Merridew, and Colds7ream, the work that Huntster is doing in his sandbox over at User:Huntster/Sandbox/2 and being discussed at User talk:Huntster/Sandbox/2 is proceeding. There has been little interaction/review with other spaceflight-interested editors to date. Would really appreciate your review, and comments as appropriate. Review from any others is also, of course, welcome. Cheers. N2e (talk) 23:39, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
Re the recent edition of the Downlink (early Feb), which said:

Concerns were also raised that the existing infoboxes were not well-equipped to handle spacecraft which operated in more than one orbit, or whose orbits changed over the course of their missions (which in practise is most of them).

I have made a suggestion in (Huntster's Sandbox) that perhaps orbital detail should be left out of the infoboxes completely. That is to say, maybe we ought not put (in Infoboxes) details like "altitude", nor even separate "apoapsis" and "periapsis". Why? Rationale: such dynamic details are not something that is strictly amenable to the sort of abstraction that Infoboxes are good for. Moreover, these things (as they exist in various spaceflight Infoboxes) are virtually never well-sourced, so I tend to ask for {{citation needed}}, which often gets the claim deleted if no one shows up to source the hyper-specific "347 miles" assertion that is in the infobox, and as the Downlink points out, is typically never correct for most spaceflight missions.
My specific Alternative proposal is that, if we think some orbital information is appropriate for infoboxes (and I do), then let's work to develop a single broad parameter for it that abstracts the orbital detail into an Infobox-appropriate quarter-line of text with only the essence of the info; I have called this, to start out, "Orbital regime". The full discussion is at (Huntster's Sandbox). I would really like to get more eyes on it. N2e (talk) 20:31, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

New spaceflight sidebar

I've noticed the new {{Spaceflight sidebar}}, which currently appears at the top of the article spaceflight. I think this is a good idea; quite a few topics on Wikipedia have a similar sidebar. There seems to be a trend to make the sections in these sidebars collapsible (see, for example {{War}}); maybe we'd like to do the same? Mlm42 (talk) 07:39, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

Which articles are you planning on putting this on? The articles linked within it, or a greater range? Colds7ream (talk) 13:12, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
The problem with sidebars is that they conflict with infoboxes (which were formerly a lot less common than they are now) and it gets cluttered quickly if there's more than one. Perhaps a horizontal footer template would work better? Shimgray | talk | 13:25, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, that was my creation. I intended for it eventually to be used on most of the major/top "concepts" articles (including some of the ones listed where a sidebar would not conflict) as a replacement for the current horizontal footer {{Spaceflight}}, but the Spaceflight page itself was most in need of attention -- which is somewhat embarrassing for the project! -- so I placed it there first to gauge reaction. As I said in the edit summary a sidebar rather than a footer just makes the entire subject more conspicuous to the casual reader, joining the topic together better. In response to Shimgray, concepts rarely have "must have"/directly applicable images or infoboxes in the lead so most of the time it should not conflict. I did consider making it collapsible but since I've preliminarily placed it only on the Spaceflight page so far, and the page is pretty bland currently, it helps to fill the right hand side of the lead if not collapsed. That's part of the reason why I based it on the "Part of a series on" templates style which are are less likely to be collapsible. It is pretty easy to make it collapsible if needs be, I can do that if people want. If anyone else wants to make changes/improvements then by all means go ahead.
Btw if you didn't notice, the headers of each section are links themselves, I changed the Wikilink colour to fit the scheme. Did you notice these, I wondered if they were obvious enough? ChiZeroOne (talk) 14:43, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
Actually I hadn't noticed the links because they were white.. anyway, I would imagine this sidebar won't go on too many articles; for example it wouldn't be appropriate if the article already has an infobox. And I think this serves a different purpose to a footer.. footers are common, and I suspect a lot of people have developed a footer-blindness. I think this template would go well on articles like Spaceflight, Spacecraft, Space exploration, Human spaceflight, Astronaut, Spaceport, Orbital spaceflight, and others (and maybe Atmospheric entry). Mlm42 (talk) 17:01, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
Hmm, thought so, might need to alter that. I agree, just for the main concepts like the ones you suggest to tie them all together. I didn't mean totally replace the footer (though that one could do with a clean-up) but I agree I'm sure people get "footer-blindness" and I think where we can we should "promote" related articles, especially on the big ideas. ChiZeroOne (talk) 17:35, 4 February 2011 (UTC)


Just a heads-up, I have started a collaboration page in my user-space. It's in its preliminary stages and I'm sure it will evolve with expanded content as I push on. I have started to assess the articles involved according to the B-class criteria to give a head start in looking at what to improve. Anyone who wishes to help out in the push is welcome to join in. See User:ChiZeroOne/Collaboration. ChiZeroOne (talk) 03:50, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

You are more than welcome to copy all of my sources and the layout onto your page. They should all be beneficial to you project. --Xession (talk) 03:52, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Thankyou very much, I'll have a look through and see if there's anything that may be needed. ChiZeroOne (talk) 04:06, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
The most important two I would recommend are Space Science Reviews and the ADS. If you need access to the journals, just send me a message. --Xession (talk) 04:09, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
I've actually already asked Orionist to draw us up a decent SVG diagram of the station, he's on the case. Might I also suggest you add this book to the reading list? Just finished it, it's very good. Colds7ream (talk) 22:35, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Excellent, I love his diagrams, do you know what sort it will be? Perhaps one that will highlight the different compartments like in the Mir infobox? Would be good to have a section of the Skylab page devoted to an explanation of the different areas which the current one doesn't quite do. Thanks, I'll have a look at it. ChiZeroOne (talk) 01:09, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

VTVL, VTHL, etc. terms for Spacecraft and Rockets?

VTVL, VTHL, etc. terms for Spacecraft and Rockets: Should they be kept separate (and cleaned up)? Or merged into the aircraft related term articles? Or what?

There is a poor quality "rocket"-specific article on VTVL, which also briefly mentions VTHL and HTHL. In addition, there are a series of articles that are aircraft-specific (e.g., VTOHL, VTOL; plus see the template bar that is the bottom of each of those articles).

The rocket/spacecraft definitions are unclear. Is the Space Shuttle and the X-37B a VTHL? According to a definition from what source? Or should VTVL be reserved for non-staged craft like the small Lunar Lander Challenge vehicles?

Given the new CCDev phase 2 proposals announced yesterday, at least of couple of which appear to be VTHL spacecraft, I'm thinking it would probably be useful to think about this at a project level soon and see if a consensus might not be reachable as to how to improve the extant articles. What do others think? N2e (talk) 15:23, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

  • I...honestly can't see the slightest difference between 'VTVL' and VTOL, and I've never even heard of VTVL before (yet alone 'VTHL' and 'HTHL'). I, personally, believe VTVL should be a redirect to VTOL, and the others, well VTHL could redirect to VTOHL, and HTHL...well, that's pretty much 'the default' for aerospacecraft and would seem to be at best sometihing for Wiktionary. - The Bushranger One ping only 16:33, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Merge all of the stubs into one article as a table, perhaps, with any larger articles staying as they are? Colds7ream (talk) 14:40, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
  • I'm with Bushranger; why not merge VTVL (for spacecraft) into VTOL (for aircraft)? The VTOL article already mentions how the term for rockets is VTVL (with a citation needed tag!). Similarly for VTHL -> VTOHL. I don't see why there should be separate rocket specific articles. The template {{Types of take-off and landing}} doesn't specify that it's only for aircraft. Mlm42 (talk) 17:12, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
    • These has been discussion on this on Talk:VTOL as well. Mlm42 (talk) 17:15, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
    • By the way, NASA does in fact use the term VTVL (see here). Mlm42 (talk) 17:18, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Well, as I said earlier, I think I'd be happy to go with whatever is proved by sources to be both notable and cited. However, in my reading over the years, I do think that the acronyms with the "O" in them (STOL, VTOL, VTOHL, etc.) tend to be used in the aircraft community and aircraft literature, while those without the "O" (VTHL, VTVL, HTHL) tend to be used in the space community. Clearly, there is a large recent, if informal, use in the (NewSpace) community to use these terms to compare the wide variety of design concepts, and even vehicles in development or in use: VTHL (the new Orbital lifting-body spaceplane proposal for CCDev2 fits here, but so does the X-33, X-37B, and the Space Shuttle); VTVL (e.g. Blue Origin New Shepard, all the Armadillo Aerospace rockets, all of the Masten Space Systems rockets, and the SpaceX plan to equip the Dragon spacecraft with a vertical landing capability in a future version); and HTHL (Reaction Engines Skylon, Rocketplane XP, SpaceShipTwo, etc.)

At the end of the day, Wikipedia ought to reflect whatever is descriptively verifiable, and not be force-fit to use whatever language we might prescriptively prefer. I don't know for sure just yet what that language is, but my sense tells me that there will be a distinction between the terms used by the two communities, and that it will be a distinction with a difference. Cheers. N2e (talk) 18:16, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

I completely agree that it should be explained that the aircraft and space terms are different. Absolutely, since this is backed up by reliable sources, and seems readily verifiable. This distinction should definitely be made within the article. That said, I don't think it's worth having two separate articles for such similar concepts. It would be like having two separate articles: Astronaut and Cosmonaut. Two groups of people have different names for the same concept, but we should only have one article. Mlm42 (talk) 18:49, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Mlm42: only a single article is justified to clarify all the various concepts, both aircraft and spacecraft/rockets. Probably could modify the existing VTVL article to become this newly-scoped, more comprehensive article. However, since the aircraft community clearly has an existing set of articles on the various concepts, the ones I looked at all look rather aircraft-centric (e.g., STOL, VTOL, VTOHL, etc. -- see the template at the bottom of any of those articles to get the full set of A/C extant articles), I think each subsection of the aircraft section of the more comprehensive article would need to link/point to the fuller details. But I don't think it necessary to create separate spacecraft-centric articles on VTVL, VTHL, HTHL, etc. N2e (talk) 05:45, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
A (new?) anon user has recently begun to edit the VTVL page and has initiated a Talk page there with rocket, aviation, and spaceflight project templates. So I have moved the continuation of this discussion over to the Talk:VTVL page. Everyone is invited to weigh in as we attempt to get the terminology article(s) cleaned up. Cheers. N2e (talk) 16:51, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
The merge discussion seems to have failed to gain consensus, but there did seem to be some agreement on a process for improvement. To that end, I have just offered a proposal for moving the effort forward in improving the coverage of the spaceflight-related terms (VTVL, VTHL, HTHL, etc.) in Wikipedia. That proposal is here. Would appreciate folks looking it over. N2e (talk) 18:23, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

STATUS (two months on): Neither a proposal to merge, nor a later proposal for a process we might follow to clean up the articles, achieved consensus. So these articles will stay as is for now, and rather than some sort of planned/orchestrated change, will no doubt improve over time through the natural spontaneous order of Wikipedia. If anyone wants more details, the full discussion has the entire record. Cheers. N2e (talk) 22:21, 15 February 2011 (UTC)


The above article could use some neutral outside contribution.--  Novus  Orator  12:53, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Has it had any yet? Colds7ream (talk) 10:45, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
This article is currently now a good article nominee. Feel free to help improve it.--  Novus  Orator  03:58, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

A proposal for A-class assessment

Hi folks, I'd like to set the ball rolling on developing a procedure for reviewing articles from A-class, and, to that end, here's a proposal for how it could work. I suggest that we simply run the review in a similar manner to the FAC process, with some changes. This would mean that:

  • The review would most likely be carried out in a peer-review setting, or a specific article subpage (e.g. /A-class review 1).
  • All the Featured Article Criteria should be met.
  • The whole idea of this would be to ease the process at FAC, and, to this end, reviewers should be pernickety about the most minor things to prevent ******** like Tony1 kicking up a fuss at FAC over trivial issues.
  • Unlike FAC, though, there would be no speedy time limit on the review, and hopefully reviewers should be able to spend time helping out with things that need changing.
  • Basically, we're aiming for a friendly version of FAC so that treading the minefield becomes a bit less scary.

Thoughts? Colds7ream (talk) 10:53, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

I made a suggestion a while back that I think got buried on Chizero's page, but would help this process somewhat. It was an assessment page with every article under your project listed where you could discuss assessments with a minimum of three committee members at regular intervals, such as every Monday. If an article was upgraded to a higher class, the table would be corrected by one of the committee members along with a short description of the reasoning, the date of assessment and a list of the members who performed the assessment. Each assessment would be performed in the discussion page of the Spaceflight Assessment page, to keep the discussion localized, where further details of ways to improve the article could be mentioned for future reference. I drew up a rough draft a while back back as well. It can be seen here. --Xession (talk) 15:10, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
I don't think people will go for that. There was fairly strong opposition to introducing coordinators, and I think the committee could cause many of the same issues. --GW 16:21, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Curious, what were the complaints to having 'coordinators'? It sounds more as if that would be an elected position rather than a voluntary, at-will task. I had more envisioned something along the lines of your newsletter listing 2 - 5 articles to assess at the next meeting. During that meeting, anyone that comes to the discussion, becomes a committee member for that assessment (so long as they are a member of the project). That would maintain a collaborative and focused strategy to assessing the numerous articles of the project. However, if this is a similar proposal to the use of coordinators, then my apologies. --Xession (talk) 17:01, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, any talk of "regular meetings" makes it sound like far too much work. If there's desire to discuss an article's assessment, then that article's talk page should be the main location. Taking discussions away from talk pages to some other forum seems like unnecessary bureaucracy. Of course if someone wants to discuss the assessment scheme for multiple articles, and propose changes to it, or get clarifications, then here at the WikiProject talk page is that right place for that. Mlm42 (talk) 19:58, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
I like Colds7ream's idea. I think that there should be a time limit, but it should be at least a month, probably more. Also, to ensure reviews are not closed as unsuccessful due to lack of interest, the time period should start when the second uninvolved editor reviews the article, rather than from the request is made. --GW 16:21, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, this is a good idea. Do I understand correctly that the idea is to have the A-class criteria the same as the FA criteria, the only difference being that A-class articles haven't yet been through the FA process? I'm not hugely familiar with the FA process, but it sounds like the suggestion is to have a process more like the GA-process (which has flexible time limit, when reviews are put "on hold"). I guess I would ask, how many editors (who didn't have prior involvement) would we need to support the article to promote it to A-class? Is just one enough, if noone opposes (like GAs)? Mlm42 (talk) 20:17, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
I would say not; FAC usually gathers comments from tens of editors, all of whom have pet hates that can sink an article's chances; we'd need input from as many editors as possible. Colds7ream (talk) 21:57, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Officially the requirement is two uninvolved editors. My suggestion would be that the "hold" period starts after the second review is posted. Acceptance should be conditional on: 1) At least two editors passing the article in reviews; 2) All points raised in the review being addressed, or there being consensus that such issues do not need to be addressed; 3) A period of at least seven days having passed since the second support !vote (unless such a period would take the review past its deadline); 4) No outstanding "oppose" !votes with rationale (oppose !votes without rationale should be ignored). --GW 22:18, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
  • WP:MILHIST has a very active and successful A-Class review program. It might be wise to take a good look at it, if not simply importing it wholescale. :) - The Bushranger One ping only 20:58, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
    I do not believe that system would work in a smaller project such as this one. Also, if I recall correctly, it requires coordinators. --GW 21:27, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Mir assessments

Hi folks, just to let you know I've put Mir up for WP:GAN. I realise its very short notice, but it'd be great if someone could please review it by 19 February, the 25th anniversary of the launch of the core module. In other news, I've also got List of Mir spacewalks up for Peer Review, any input would be appreciated. Colds7ream (talk) 18:11, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Moon trees

We need an article about this.[2] Neat! (talk) 02:15, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Moon tree. You thought we wouldn't have an article on this? :-) Mlm42 (talk) 04:13, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Nice! Can you make a redirect from Moon trees? Thanks. (talk) 04:58, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Consider it done! - The Bushranger One ping only 05:15, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Japan's space development

This article has been created via what appears to be a google translation of the Japanese article, with unsurprisingly poor results. We don't seem to have an article on this at the moment though - Japanese space program redirects to Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency but this doesn't seem to discuss anything prior to ten years ago. Could someone here take a look and redirect/merge/clean up as you see fit? Thanks SmartSE (talk) 14:56, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

It's a shame, it would be nice to have an article on the history of Japan's space programme but if that is a google translation I'm unsure what can be done with it even if it is wikified. For a start my rudimentary Japanese won't be enough to translate a technical article. I've seen some editors around the articles on Japanese probes who might be willing to translate the Japanese article properly. ChiZeroOne (talk) 18:36, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
I think this article should be moved to Japanese space program; the content - though hard to read - seems good for an article about the Japanese space program. And on the plus side, some of the sources have english versions of their webpages.. Mlm42 (talk) 04:31, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
I agree, I'll suggest it on the article's talk page. Also, fortunately it looks like is being translated. ChiZeroOne (talk) 15:05, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Miniaturization of Soviet/American rockets

I am improving the Japan's space development (where somebody entered a google translation...) by translating manually from the Japanese article. I stumbled upon a strange sentence and wanted to confirm whether it is true. According to the Japanese source, Americans and Soviets decreased the size of their rockets in the 1950s. Is this true? bamse (talk) 09:50, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

No, rocket sizes increased. The first ICBMs were developed during that period. See Space_Race#Cold_War. -- ke4roh (talk) 15:11, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. bamse (talk) 15:23, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
It's a little more complicated than that I think. The size of a rocket intended to do the same job did indeed decrease as efficiency and technology got better, but as the jobs to be done (eg, go to the Moon) got more ambitious, the rockets for those missions were bigger too. The old Russian R-7 (rocket) was much larger than the slightly later American Atlas (rocket), and the Minuteman (missile) was much smaller than the Atlas. News articles in the mid-1950s announced that ICBMs would be huge, 3-stage affairs, the size of the (later) Saturn I. When the first photo of the Atlas came out in Life magazine after the June 1957 launch attempt, I remember being shocked, when I tried to estimate its size, at how much smaller it was than described earlier. I was expecting nearly 100 m, and it was more like 25. Similar trends were seen worldwide, and continue today. Wwheaton (talk) 04:23, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

"Van Allen radiation belt" -- a Wikipedia horror tale ?

Last night I removed an unsourced claim, attributed to Alex Dessler, that the Van Allen radiation belts may be due to volcanic activity. I think this is physically very unlikely, and not at all main-stream, though I am not an expert on Van Allen radiation. A little Google search found ~9000 hits on {'Alex Dessler' 'Van Allen'}, but looking at the top few I see only things that seem to quote our previous Wikipedia article verbatim — almost all having all or part of the phrase:

"while Alex Dessler has argued that the belt is a result of volcanic activity".

Most appear to be blogs & other lightweight material, nothing that looks like a reliable source. A full-text search of the Astrophysics Data System for {"ALEX DESSLER" "VAN ALLEN BELT"} found no hits between 1952 and 2003. (Where would one search for older space physics information, I wonder?)

At first glance it appears to me as if there may have been an avalanche or loop of citations stemming from that very early (~2002) Wikipedia mention. The editor who made the claim was blocked indefinitely in 2008 as a troll, although that was not at first enough to convict the edit. Although "Alex Dessler" is redlinked, he is a reputable worker in space science.

I looked around a bit for a proper source, and commented out the dubious claim, thinking that if there is a peer-reviewed article in a scientific journal that supports the claim, we should probably restore it. But I now it looks like this is a classic Wikipedia horror story.

When I could find no reasonable sources (glancing at only 30 or 40, of course not 9000), I sent an email, to Dessler, who quickly responded:

I am (sort of) shocked that this is what is reported. It is true that I once made a verbal joke at a meeting where I was making fun of someone (Tom Gold as I recall) to make the point that correlations were not proof of physical causality. You need a viable theory to make the connection. For example, I like this quote, "It has been proven by thousands of experiments that the beating of tom-toms during an eclipse will restore the Sun." This is from E. Bright Wilsons's book (which I read as a graduate student in the early 1950s) Introduction to Research. Wilson did not believe this correlation was true, as I did not believe volcanoes could cause or have any effect on the Van Allen Belt. My point was regarded as funny enough that I believe Wilmot Hess, in one of his books, quoted me in the spirit of a physicist having fun. If he did, the book would have been published in the 1960s. I never put such nonsense in print -- OMG!

The edit that did the damage was:

07:44, 18 November 2002 Lir (talk | contribs) (7,275 bytes) (undo)

Lir made many many edits, often on other subjects, for over 6 years before being blocked, many of which probably need to be reviewed carefully. So it is potentially a more general Wikipedia problem. I think this case history needs to be reported (and discussed) on some of the project pages — physics, astronomy, space science,... as many as are relevant, and wherever Lir made many edits.

This is the first clear instance I have encountered of what appears to be an attempt to undermine the integrity of Wikipedia by deliberate covert fallacious editing. It is not trolling, which I think is defined as a deliberate attempt to create destructive conflict by stirring up conflict, outrage & emotion, etc — ie, not hidden.

Some points:

  • Covert malicious vandalism is present on Wikipedia to some extent, and because people are so clever, in general it is likely not easy to detect, especially given our essential commitment to assume good faith. (So how much of this is out there? Has anyone done some serious investigation to quantify the extent of the issue?)
  • The widespread use of Wikipedia as the reference of first resort means that errors here are likely to be disseminated very rapidly and widely into the Internet and the cultural "information atmosphere".
  • Verbatim copying of Wikipedia material is very widespread, at least in some cases. (Probably especially bad where journalists with no deep understanding of a specialized subject are trying to summarize for the lay public.)
  • As important as formal criteria for authenticity are, there is probably no substitute for significant understanding of, and expertise in, the subject matter by some minimum number of the editors contributing to any given article.
  • The appalling thing is that at this moment there hundreds of "sources" out there on the Internet—and none of them are reliable. It will be interesting to watch the "decay" of this information now that the Wikipedia article has been corrected, but it seems likely that will be very slow, if it decays at all.
  • Inaccurate, or even absurd, material may lie undetected for a very long time, and do great damage to our reputation, our project, and even to society.
  • Given the central importance of information and the existence of strong political, ideological, and economic drivers, covert attacks on Wikipedia can be anticipated to sometimes be not just mischievous, but strongly motivated: sustained, determined, and even backed by the resources of wealthy and powerful entities, such as powerful authority figures, corporations, religious and ethnic groups, and even nation states.

Thus Wikipedia is at least potentially (and perhaps already extensively) threatened by its own remarkable success.

I am basically a wikignome, by no means very well qualified to address these issues. I am certain there are many other editors in our project who are much more aware than I am. I would appreciate it if they could perhaps give us (me) some advice about how a lay wikipedian can best respond to these challenges, or point to existing WP resources for doing better. Thanks to any who respond.

Cheers, Wwheaton (talk) 03:01, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

To reduce the number of different conversations, it's probably best to reply to this post at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Astronomy, where a discussion has started on the same topic. Mlm42 (talk) 03:52, 19 February 2011 (UTC)
Good idea, thanks. Go here. Wwheaton (talk) 05:00, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

Extant tasks

OK folks, we've made a great start to the reboot tasks listed above, but just to keep the ball rolling, here are the tasks still left to do:

  • Task forces - We seem to have settled originally on having two task forces, HSF and USPACE, but current discussions seem to show that this is still a point of debate.
  • Recruitment drive - More editors are always a great thing, and whilst we now have an excellent newsletter to keep enrolled members up-to-date, we need to gather new editors to join the project.
  • Guidelines - Probably linked to the task forces one, but we need to decide where we're going to put our guidelines, update old ones and create any new ones that we need.
  • Portal merge - We decided way back on 15 November to merge the SPACEFLIGHT and HSF portals (which, you may recall, was the catalyst for the project shake-up), but this still hasn't been done.

Colds7ream (talk) 14:37, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Task forces

Continuing on from the discussions above, my personal preference would be GW's suggestion - to abolish the task forces entirely, and create working groups on an ad-hoc basis to carry out specific tasks as required. This will reduce the division of the editor base and keep things moving along, IMHO. Colds7ream (talk) 14:37, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

From the looks of things there isn't currently a division of the editor base, almost everything is happening here. The task forces just allow us to break up the topic into chunks for easier navigation and to provide more appropriate information. Remember, by the time we've finished tagging articles there will be a lot more of them, there are large numbers of articles well within our scope that do not have any tag. Besides, I don't see much difference in how the task forces and working groups are functioning anyway, they both have separate pages, talk pages and memberships. If the task forces have the potential to divide the editor base then so do the current working groups. ChiZeroOne (talk) 15:29, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
Yep, it's great, IMHO, that everything's happening here, which is what makes me question the need for the task forces. I'd have thought that the appropriate information could be kept centrally (like here for instance) without the need for dedicated task force pages. The working groups, on the other hand, would be for a very specific task (e.g. the space stations one is to create featured topics), would carry out that task and then disband, having minimal infrastructure (at least, that's how I envisage them working). Colds7ream (talk) 12:32, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
I was one of those who opposed abolishing the task forces in the original proposal, as I was not expecting the project to become quite as centralised as it has. Given the way the new structure has evolved, and that having most discussion centralised here seems to be working well, I can't see any useful reason to keep them around. A question for whoever wants to keep them, what are they actually doing? As for the working groups, they are intended to perform specific tasks. It is not currently clear what will happen when one completes its task, abolition is certainly one option, others would be to keep it running to ensure that the task remains complete (for example if the goal is a featured topic then over time the content may deteriorate, or new articles may need to be added to the topic). A third option would be for the groups to take on additional tasks. --GW 12:52, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
Colds7ream, I assume you didn't mean to transfer the information to a disambiguation page... :P I agree it's good that the project is becoming far more centralised. My primary concern is that groups of articles (like satellites, ground stations etc) will get lost in an entirely monolithic project. I'm concerned if we leave progress to ad hoc and narrowly focused working groups, improvement will be a popularity contest. The task forces as I see it are there to give the different aspects of Spaceflight a "face" on the project and to break down a growing project into slightly more manageable chunks, to allow editors to find articles of interest to them a bit easier and to provide more suitable information on improving these articles. In a sense more organisational than collaborative like the working groups. I would have no problem with them simply being formally incorporated as "flavours" of the wider project, and as I suggested before breaking them up so that they cover all the major aspects of spaceflight (Comsats, Launch vehicles, Space Centres etc), as long as similar functionality is retained. But I have to say if you are concerned about splitting the editor base then the working groups as currently envisioned seem far more prone to that. I would have signed up to the Stations one if it wouldn't have seemed totally pointless for all of us to be members. I'm keen on helping all areas which is why I wanted to reboot the project, I find the separate memberships and talk pages entirely redundant. I think the working groups should be thought of as little more than a topic-based and longer-term variation on the collaboration of the week idea. ChiZeroOne (talk) 15:58, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
Whoops! Indeed not! (It was supposed to link to Wikipedia:WikiProject Spaceflight/template list) You make a fair point there though... Hmmm... Anyone else got any thoughts? Colds7ream (talk) 16:04, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
ChiZeroOne argues that some groups of articles would get lost in a monolithic project; while this may be true, I don't think the answer is to split the monolithic project in two halves (HSF and USF). After all, half of a monolith is still pretty big. I don't agree that having narrowly focused working groups would be bad; sometimes it's good to have focus, with specific goals. Yes, they are kind of like collaborations of the week, but more long term. While it seems like a good to give the different aspects of the project a "face", I think creating task forces probably isn't the best way to do this. Maybe this could be achieved with some kind of organizational subpage. Mlm42 (talk) 16:31, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
I've written a summary of the organisational structure here. We could use that as a starting point for a more in-depth page. --GW 17:02, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
I fully agree about the two halves which is why I suggested splitting the task forces up in the first place. My point is I just don't think it's a good idea to abolish the current task forces and not provide similar (or preferably improved) topical breakdown in their place, I'm open to other suggestions which don't require full taskforces. If the task forces go it's a monolithic project and one or two specific working group collaborations and yet nowhere for others (often casual editors) to find areas they may be interested in improving. Basically, all non-maintenance work would go through the working groups and all the rest must be accessed through the main assessment table with no breakdown of content or specific support.
I think working groups (and focussed collaboration in general) are a good idea but currently they seem too separate from the main project, the fact that they are simply a novel type of CoW needs to be re-enforced. We simply cannot maintain a large number of effective working groups with the current number of active editors, we need them to be integrated within the project like collaborations of the week are. ChiZeroOne (talk) 13:59, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
"Others" would have the main project. Yes, topics may be obscured by the large scope of the project, as if lost in a sea of content, but all the current task force structure does is to leave them lost in a slightly smaller sea of content. You suggest providing a topical breakdown, but in your own words we "cannot maintain a large number of effective working groups with the current number of active editors". Subdivision for the sake of subdivision leaves us with nothing but bureaucracy. --GW 14:36, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes I agree about the current taskforces, which is why suggested breaking them down. All I'm saying is we need an improved system in their place before abolishing them. I said we could not maintain a large number of effective working groups, I said nothing of task forces. I made the distinction for the reason I stated earlier that I see them having completely different functions, the task forces/whatever we decide to convert them too would be more supportive and organisational than the collaborative working groups. The reason we cannot maintain a large number of working groups is because they need a critical mass of editors to be effective, which is why them appearing as separate from the main project is probably not wise. On the other hand a topical organisational system is just general maintenance. ChiZeroOne (talk) 14:54, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The working groups are intended to operate within the project, they are just aimed at focussing work. I can't see any difference in the current project structure between task forces and working groups, other than the fact that the task forces have ridiculous scopes. Could you perhaps provide a more explicit proposal of what you intend. How would you divide the project, and what roles would each subdivision have? --GW 15:00, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Ok, here's one idea.


This is just one provisional idea I had, suggested variations are welcome. Basic breakdown,

Spaceflight main page

  • Members
  • Assessment
  • Topics
    • Concepts
    • Space probes
    • …Etc
  • Collaboration
    • Topical
    • General
  • The Downlink
  • Open tasks
  • Recognised content
  • Discussion

Topics page (A very provisional list!)
  • Concepts
  • Space probes
  • Spaceports and ground stations
  • Satellites – (probably to be split down further as is a large topic)
  • Space stations
  • Manned spaceflight – (not including stations, probably split down further)
  • Space warfare – (ASATs etc)
  • Launch vehicles
  • Space agencies and politics
  • Timeline of spaceflight – (converted to a topic)

The page could be a sectioned list, e.g;



  • Scope
  • Assessment table (preferably) or link to category
  • Link to main page that hosts specific guidelines, supporting information, links etc


Space probes

  • Scope
  • Assessment table (preferably) or link to category
  • Link to main page that hosts specific guidelines, supporting information, links etc


Etc Etc

Task forces become “Topics”. As simply a subpage of the project, all organisation is discussed on the centralised discussion page and the concept of membership abolished, they are maintained as any other project pages. I suggest however they are given a banner parameter, though no importance. They function to allow general editors not involved in the collaborations (which hopefully will become a main focus of the project) to tackle other specific areas, especially the less obvious ones. By providing specific information, such as sources of information on Comsat operators etc, they provide support for editors. The topics also form the basis of the information for working on the topical collaborations, see below.

I like the idea of making task forces into topics, they don't seem to be doing anything, so giving them a static role would be constructive. I don't think they should have banner parameters. I don't see the need, it is just a lot of extra tagging with no real gain. I would suggest a tree structure, with, for example, space stations as a subtopic of manned spaceflight. I don't like the idea of making TLS a topic for reasons I have outlined in the section on working groups/collaborations, although perhaps a topic should be created that encompasses it, as well as other lists, timelines and statistics. --GW 21:43, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
Yeah I thought the banner parameter might be a sore point which is is why I suggested the categories as an alternative. But I think the topics is where the organisation should be, not with working groups/collaborations which should feed off them. Assessment tables also provide better support for editors not working on the collaboration (see my other reply). And don't worry about the extra tagging, I have no problem doing that if necessary. The problem with the tree structure though is the topics which don't comfortably sit under just one "parent", and I'm not sure it adds a lot. The reason why I thought TLS should be a topic is twofold; its needs are very different from the suggested collaborations, more like the long term maintenance of the topics, and it's a good idea for it to have a permanent banner parameter like the other topics. ChiZeroOne (talk) 23:08, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
Collaboration page

As GW touched on before, currently not all working groups are created equal. Ones like Timeline will never be finished, they are ongoing, while ones like Space Stations will end. When a working group is over what happens then, get rid of it and all the banner parameters? Why are features that should be more permanent like banner parameters being tied to a temporary collaboration like the Space Stations working group? These are better performed by the topics.

I suggest that “working groups”/“collaborations” be hosted on a centralised Collaborations page (why create new pages/delete old ones when a collaboration is over?) possibly with its own talk page to keep probably quite active discussion out of the main one. There should be two types with one collaboration each at a time, one topical and one general, for example the first general one could be “Portal:Spaceflight to featured status”. This way all editors are focussed on a small number of tasks which means we can make swift progress. Once one topical collaboration is finished then we would choose another topic (or more normally a small part of one), like the Space Stations one currently, and then use the topic’s resources to accomplish a specific task related to it. After the general one is finished a new collaboration would be chosen also. Preferably collaborations would have slightly smaller scopes than the current one, unless progress is swift and tangible editors will get bored.

Both current collaborations are then advertised in a notes section of the banner template inviting editors to help. Progress can also be related through The Downlink.

Any thoughts? ChiZeroOne (talk) 19:56, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

I very much like your idea for a collaboration page - sounds like an excellent idea. Colds7ream (talk) 20:07, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm not convinced about getting rid of working groups, I think that having small groups of editors focussing on topics is a good idea, as long as they do so within the project. Having separate pages allows all material related to them to be in one place, and makes it more easy to keep track of things. A banner parameter is a useful tool for keeping track of the articles within the working group's scope, and I intended for them to remain in place if/when the working group ceased operations, which would improve access to issues discussed by the working group on its page, and also aid in reactivating the group should that be necessary. I don't think the groups should be seen as short-term projects - when one completes its task, in most cases if the editors are still there it can simply be reassigned to a new one. And most of the tasks I see them doing would be long-term anyway. Stations isn't going to be done overnight.
With regards to collaborations, we tried it back in 2007 and it didn't work. I also feel that rotating topics will result in losing editors, since many only cover specific areas. From my own perspective, and using your suggested list above, there are two categories that I have absolutely no interest in, and at least two others that I only have a partial interest in. I also don't see what the difference between the general and topical collaborations is. Also, since there are only four or five editors who regularly use this talk page, trying to ensure that "all editors are focussed on a small number of tasks" will look like the project trying to tell its members what to do. I think it would be far better to let members work on the articles that they want to work on, and form informal groups (working groups under my proposal) if there are multiple editors interested in the same area. That said, I am not opposed to a collaboration, if it can be proven to work. The "Selected Article" feature in The Downlink is a sort of "informal collaboration", where an article is brought to members' attention and they are encouraged to edit it. Perhaps we should see how that goes before judging whether collaborations are a good idea. --GW 21:35, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
We wouldn’t get rid of the working groups per se, just focus them. They could work on separate pages, one for the topical collaboration and one for the general. They could act like an extended sandbox, they are wiped over when the next collaboration starts (any useful information could be retained on the relevant topic). The simple fact is that our greatest impact is when many hands make light work.
If the working groups/collaborations are not somewhat short-term people will get bored, what are Timeline of Spaceflight and Space Stations doing now? They are not focussed and not central enough to the project. How many working groups do you envisage (and how many editors in them?) and how do you expect them to achieve their goals? And most importantly what do they offer over and above random editors improving articles? But if most of us pitched in (and other editors notice the note in the banner and come and help) we could radically improve areas in a relatively short time, and we would have something to show for it. I can’t see long-term collaborations working very well.
What’s the point in a project where everyone does their own thing anyway? Why would anyone bother with coming to the project page at all? They can always just work on the pages they’re interested without the need for coming here. But if the project offers the ability to focus a number of editors on a task, and by rotating them we will come to people’s pets at some point, we actually offer something different.
I realise that the previous collaborations didn’t work, but they were quite different forms of collaboration and I don’t think the project was in quite as good health back then anyway. As for telling people what to do, that’s part of what the topics are for, they provide for editors not involved in the present collaborations. The difference between the topical and the general collaborations is that the topical is focused particularly on articles while the general is about supporting content for the project (portals, files etc). In part, the idea was that if someone wasn’t so interested in the topical collaboration they may be interested in the general one. As we gain more editors we could perhaps support two quite different collaborations per type. I was just concerned this would overstretch us at the moment.
Yes, I suppose you could say it would be an expanded form of the Selected Article. We could even run the Selected Article alongside the larger collaborations. By the way I don’t think the current idea where there is a parameter to show that “This article is featured in the current issue of The Downlink”, is a great idea. It only appears on one page, it doesn’t make it more likely editors will edit the page because the only people to see it are obviously already interested in the article! I think it would be better to do it the way I said above and create a note box in the banner that displays the current Selected Article. Then everyone who goes onto any Spaceflight page is directed to that article making it far more likely random editors will get involved. ChiZeroOne (talk) 22:55, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
I suppose we could always retain the working groups for now and set up a collaboration page alongside and compare their progress? ChiZeroOne (talk) 00:03, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

I think in many ways the difference between "task forces", "working groups", and "long-term collaborations" is semantics, and it's not worth worrying about the subtlies. I also think that the main reason for including parameters in the Project banner is to say to other editors "Hello! There are already some people working in this area, come join us, or ask us questions!", so even if they are "temporary" (which could be over a year), it might still be worth having a banner parameter.

It seems to me that separating this project into "Topics" as ChiZeroOne suggested is already done by the Category system (see Category:Spaceflight). Of course the Category system could be reorganized if desired, but I definitely think we should take advantage of the Category system rather than trying to artifically introducing our own.

I think it's useful to create pages (like working groups) for editors who personally plan on improving a specific group of articles (like Space Stations), because they can coordinate their efforts and/or track their progress. Generally I don't think it's useful to create pages which are designed to get other editors to edit a specific group of articles (I'm reminded of many failed collaborations of the week, or Wikipedia:Spotlight). Mlm42 (talk) 19:14, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

They already know editors are working in that area, that is what the project banner is for... "This article is within the scope of WP:X". The reason for additional banner parameters is so that such a tagged article gets automatically placed into an assessment category. If you are not using an assessment category then what’s the point? I sincerely doubt editors will be happy to add and remove parameters from hundreds of articles after a short time, there are frankly more productive uses of our time.
The Topics are not merely a categorisation system, they are a passive form of collaboration where information and guidelines suitable to that area are hosted and added by editors, a kind of communal library. They would have an assessment table so editors could track the progress of articles in their area of interest.
If one wants to coordinate what they are doing and share with like-minded editors then shouldn’t it be hosted in their userspace? Perhaps I’ve just not got what projects are about. ChiZeroOne (talk) 22:28, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't think the only reason for adding banner parameters is for assessment categories. As I said, it also lets other editors know there is a focused group of editors working there; just because you know there is a "Spaceflight WikiProject", doesn't mean you know there is a "Space stations working group". This is an additional piece of useful information to an editor.
Also, there's no need to remove parameters from every talk page once they are there. If you want to make the parameters do nothing, then it only takes a single edit to the Template itself. Mlm42 (talk) 21:53, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
Indeed, I would point out that the use of WikiProject banners predates the start of the assessment system. --GW 21:59, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Ok, so it seems like my proposal has gone down like a lead balloon, so are there any-more ideas on how we can proceed bar just simply removing the task forces? ChiZeroOne (talk) 00:36, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

My suggestion would be to remove the task forces, and continue discussion on topics. I think that listing topics would be a good idea, but we can't let it replace the categorisation system, and I don't think we need banner parameters for them. Initial results of the Downlink collaboration are not encouraging; besides myself only one editor has shown interest in working on Salyut 2 so far. I would suggest that this indicates the time is not right to set up a more formal collaboration. --GW 00:17, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Recruitment drive

Two suggestions that I recall were a banner to put on the talk pages of editors who edit spaceflight-related pages, and to get an interview in the Signpost - we can request one at Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/WikiProject desk, and I'm happy to do so unless someone else has a burning desire to do it. :-) Also, any other suggestions would be appreciated. Colds7ream (talk) 14:37, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, I may have a go at requisitioning either the WP:India or WP:Milhist talk page template for our use. As for the interview, it sounds like a great idea but I'd hold off until we're a bit more sure of the future structure so we'll have more information to share. ChiZeroOne (talk) 22:31, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't think we'll ever be sure of the future structure! :-) But I do think other WikiProjects may be inspired to learn of our reorganization. Generally speaking it seems like a good move to convert subprojects into task forces of larger projects, and also to reduce the number of talk pages; I think we've done both of these quite well. Even though things aren't "finished", it still might be a good idea to tell others about what we have done already, so they can get ideas for improvements in their own projects. Colds7ream, I think it would be great if you did a Signpost interview. Mlm42 (talk) 22:54, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks! :-) I've put in a request, let's see what they say; it'll probably take a while anyhow. Colds7ream (talk) 14:41, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
I've finally got round to the invite, {{WPSpaceflight-Invite}}. It can take the inviter's username as a parameter but I'm not sure whether that's the best idea because as far as I know it means the template shouldn't be substituted right? ChiZeroOne (talk) 17:48, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks CZO, can you list this somewhere a bit more prominent so folks can find it easily? Colds7ream (talk) 13:53, 20 February 2011 (UTC)
I was actually thinking of creating a "common template list" for the project but I've been away with little time to be on here so I hadn't got round to it. I'll see if I can find somewhere appropriate for now to put it. Again, I'm not sure if the template needs some minor changes. ChiZeroOne (talk) 15:35, 20 February 2011 (UTC)
We've got one somewhere, I remember creating it. Can't remember where it is though. --GW 15:45, 20 February 2011 (UTC)
Do you mean Wikipedia:WikiProject Spaceflight/Templates? While comprehensive I was more meaning a simple user-friendly list of common "miscellaneous" templates. Something like this. ChiZeroOne (talk) 16:01, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

Request for copyright status input

Hi folks, I'd appreciate it if anyone with a fair idea about image copyrights could spend a moment to respond to my question at Talk:Johannes Kepler ATV#Launch image. Many thanks. Colds7ream (talk) 13:50, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

Another category question

I'm wondering if there might be any desire/need for a Category:Satellites by launch vehicle category tree? I.e. Category:Satellites launched by Atlas rockets, Category:Satellites launched by Ariane rockets, Category:Satellites launched by giant rubber bands, etc. Thoughts? - The Bushranger One ping only 16:04, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Maybe a more general Category:Spacecraft by launch vehicle would be preferrable? This would be a pretty big task, I think, so it should probably go through CfD before creation. But it seems reasonable to me. Mlm42 (talk) 06:34, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
Ah, that does work. I haven't used CfD for creation before though. - The Bushranger One ping only 06:52, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
Oh, yeah, I guess CfD isn't for creation. Anyway, I suppose you'd use the List of orbital launch systems for the different launch vehicles. That list is divided into countries.. so maybe Category:Spacecraft by country of launch would also make sense? Mlm42 (talk) 07:09, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
Hmm. I'd argue that that one would be less useful. While a surprisingly large number of countries have built satellites, there's only so many that launch them - the spacecraft would be defined by who built them and what launched them, but the country of launch would have little to do with the craft aside from the launch vehicle and services. - The Bushranger One ping only 18:12, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
Fair enough; either way seems reasonable to me. Mlm42 (talk) 19:30, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm going to make a start on this. I'll use the "spacecraft" option, and call the parent category "launch system" to avoid en-GB/US issues. --GW 17:50, 24 February 2011 (UTC)

Nav boxes for landmarks

There are a great many landmarks of note, and they ought to be grouped together. It seems to me we should have at least one, quite possibly more, nav box to accommodate the likes of National Historic Landmarks related to the Apollo program, early space exploration, and the likes. For example, included would be SA-500D, the Saturn V Dynamic Test Stand, the Neutral Buoyancy Space Simulator, and a few other Huntsville landmarks. (Sorry for the Huntsville bias - I know my way around there best.) I'm imagining that the landmarks would be grouped geographically, perhaps by state. Not sure how we'd do similar for Soviet and German places. What boxes should we have? What goes in them? --ke4roh (talk) 16:49, 24 February 2011 (UTC)

I'm not sure how many there are, but I'd guess a single nav box for all Spaceflight-related National Historic Landmarks would be a good move. Within the nav box they could be organized by state. Mlm42 (talk) 17:18, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done. See Template:Spaceflight landmarks. There are not very many of them in the "National Historic Landmarks" list. There may be more. I browsed several states' NHL lists to find landmarks I recognized as space-related. There are many more in the "National Register of Historic Places" list. I'm not so ambitious as to try to compile the larger list today. We really should give this set of articles special attention. By my casual observation, about three of the 17 had real articles and the rest were stubs. -- ke4roh (talk) 03:01, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
Maybe include spaceflight museums and such as well? Not that there are a tremendous number of them to include, and it would take some consideration on which to include but, Category:Aerospace museums in the United States and more broadly, Category:Aerospace museums by country would be good places to start if interested. Looks like a great start nonetheless. --Xession (talk) 04:19, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Well Done

I know this is irrelevant, but well done for Discovery's good takeoff. Thomas888b (Say Hi) 22:00, 24 February 2011 (UTC)

NASA Images?

I have a question for an article I'm working on (currently at User:E2eamon/ice bridge), I found some images on an npr page here that have been credited to NASA. It would be great if I could use those in the article, especially the one with the airplane wing in it. I think NASA images are supposed to be public domain, but I am not sure about that. If anyone is familiar with using NASA images (thus why I'm posting on this wikiproject), please let me know what the copyright status would be in this situation. --E♴ (talk) 05:23, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

EDIT...I have also found this site from NASA with a huge number of relevant pictures. Any word on these? --E♴ (talk) 05:33, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
So long as the image is clearly credited to NASA or some other NASA division, such as JPL, without other stipulations, it should be ok. I would urge you try and find images that come directly from NASA servers though; there are a few admins at the commons who can be a little presumptuous, and likely to tag an image for deletion (rather than discuss the matter) if it doesn't come directly from a NASA page.
However, a note regarding the images on the NASA Blog; please note the first image is credited to an individual and further down the page, a man is prominently the focus in an image. These are likely not public domain, and the credited person or featured individuals should be contacted prior to use. Because of this, I would be a bit weary in using other images from this website without first checking with at least the author of the posts/blogs, who in this case is Kathryn Hansen.
Beyond that, if you do hit any roadblocks when using an image that is credited NASA, mention it here or on my talk page (preferable) and I will see what I can do.
--Xession (talk) 05:54, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
I did a little researching for the photo on the NPR page. Here is the source for the image. I located it through NASA Images which is a NASA sponsored sub project of the Internet Archive, which has a nicely sourced page for the photo as well. This should eliminate any potential conflicts. Edit: On second look, I realized the images were not actually the same but the same method should easily turn up the image you are seeking; my apologies for the mix-up. Edit 2: Here is the image from the NPR page. It took a little more digging, but I found it on the official Icebridge multimedia gallery--Xession (talk) 06:28, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Derelict satellites

I have not been able to locate either an article, nor a category, on derelict/dead/non-functional Earth satellites. Perhaps I've been looking in the wrong places. At any rate, does such exist? If so, would appreciate a pointer. If not, I would be curious as to what the thinking of the more space-connected Wikipedians is on the usefulness of either an article or a category for this purpose. Cheers. N2e (talk) 14:13, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Btw, there is a Category:Artificial satellites formerly orbiting Earth which is essentially the same as Category:Deorbited satellites. ChiZeroOne (talk) 17:49, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Good point on deorbited satellites. But I think I was unclear on my initial question. I'm looking for something on derelict satellites that are still in orbit, and thus a challenge or potential problem for other Earth-orbiting satellites, as they use up some of the common resource space "real estate" and thus create externalities for others who are attempting to utilize space, especially near-Earth orbital space. I'm still surprised that there is neither an article discussing these many satellites (other than space debris which discusses all space debris more generally) nor a Category:Derelict satellites. As for Category:Space junk, hmmm. Let's decide if there is a consensus for such a category first, then we can name it (Derelict satellite, Space junk, or something else) after we get the scope defined. I think we would benefit from such a category. What think others? N2e (talk) 21:34, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Pressumably this category would be a sub-category of Category:Artificial satellites orbiting Earth. Do you have a list of satellites you'd like to include? And yes, "Derelict satellite" sounds a bit ambiguous, since it may also refer to deorbited satellites. But maybe something like "Category:Unused artificial satellites orbiting Earth". This would trim down the bigger category so that unused satellites aren't directly in it anymore.. a useful distinction, so it seems like a good idea to me. Mlm42 (talk) 06:31, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
Okay, I'm good to go with that. I think such a category ought to exist, so we can begin to classify articles for dead/unused/derelict satellites and add them to the new category, and remove these articles from the active/still-controlled/useful cat. Having said that, I still slightly prefer derelict satellite to unused satellite], as illustrated by those two Google searches at the links: "unused satellite" seems to most often talk about unused satellite slots (in orbit) or unused satellite capacity or unused satellite transmission bandwidth. "Derelict" does seem to be pretty widely used for describing the orbiting beasts that noone can control, or bring down.
But the net is, I support the new category, whatever it is named.
So go ahead and create the Cat. N2e (talk) 20:23, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
Okay, I created the category Category:Derelict satellites orbiting Earth, and put in a couple of articles. But yes, it would be nice if there were an article, or at least a section within Satellite about derelict satellites. Mlm42 (talk) 19:42, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks very much Mlm42! I will try to add other derelict manmade objects orbiting Earth as I come across them (I forget right now which one(s) I was looking at when I articulated this idea for discussion). I think there are a great many and this new category may do some good in capturing those that have Wikipedia articles. N2e (talk) 22:20, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Now the problem is turned around

I am seeing a lot of dead satellites being added to Category:Artificial satellites formerly orbiting Earth for which I see no evidence that this is so. Perhaps I am missing something but for instance as far as I know all the SAS satellites are still in orbit (e.g. Uhuru (satellite)). Mangoe (talk) 13:06, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

Then I recommend fixing it. :) It's probably easy for an editor to misinterpret a satellite's "mission ending" as meaning "it was deorbited". Either way, it would be preferable for the article to say explicitly whether it's still in orbit or not (with a source, of course). Mlm42 (talk) 14:31, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
I was hoping for some reassurance that I am fixing them, but I suppose that is too much to hope for. Mangoe (talk) 22:08, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
It was me who added them, I went through all the Explorer Program articles tagging satellites that had been de-orbited according to NSSDC. The SAS satellites have de-orbited according to their website, take for example Uhuru "Decay Date: 1979-04-05". This could be wrong (though NSSDC is generally reliable), but I wasn't randomly tagging articles if that's what you meant. I do know the difference between a derelict and de-orbited satellite. Do you have any evidence the SAS satellites have not decayed? Many satellite articles do not yet state they have decayed when multiple sources can confirm this. ChiZeroOne (talk) 22:23, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
No, I had just not come across evidence that they had decayed (I looked at the NSSDC pages but apparently missed that datum). That's precisely why I was asking; thanks for the clarification. Wouldn't it be a good idea to but the decay date/status in the infobox? ANd given the way it is shown in the NSSDC, wouldn't it be assumed that it is still in orbit unless it said otherwise? Mangoe (talk) 04:19, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes it would be nice if all these pages had a record of the spacecraft's decay date in the article, you are welcome to do it if you want. I don't get what you mean about the way it is shown, access to the decay information is easily obtainable on the NSSDC master catalogue by clicking on the "Launch/Orbital information for _____" link on each spacecraft's main page. If it has a decay date then it has decayed, no need to assume anything. ChiZeroOne (talk) 13:30, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
My question was rather if it doesn't have a decay date, then can I assume it's still up there? Mangoe (talk) 13:57, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
Unless there is another reliable source stating it has re-entered, in which case I would take it to the article's talk page and discuss which source is likely to be correct in that situation. For example with relatively recent re-entries they may not of been put up on catalogue sites like NSSDC yet, I haven't checked whether this is the case though. ChiZeroOne (talk) 14:06, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
(outdent) Good work on this folks. And please, if you find a source that indicates a satellite is still in orbit but derelict, please add that source (or {{asof}}) to the article and add the article to Category:Derelict satellites orbiting Earth. Cheers. N2e (talk) 14:26, 28 February 2011 (UTC)


Could somebody please have a look at SA-500D. It has just been listed as a GA, however I believe the assessment was inadequately thorough and lenient. I would appreciate a second opinion before requesting a reassessment. --GW 12:24, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I would certainly agree that the article seems rather brief in sections that should be greatly expanded, such as the Configurations section of the article. Many items are left unsourced as well; whether this is due to improper and unclear placement of the citations in the article or supposition, I am unsure. However, it is decently written in a technical writing style, without dramatization, it does seem to at least mention most aspects of the facility (I am not personally familiar with it though), and it does include a fair number of relevant pictures and a video, even if not directly related to the nearby article section. Nonetheless, it still seems to suit the criteria better as a B-class, rather than a GA-class article. --Xession (talk) 16:44, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
I must admit I was surprised to not receive any criticism before the article got the GA stamp. I appreciate your constructive criticism that I might improve the article. I had essentially reached the end of my independent improvement process.
Xsession, could you please {{fact}} tag what looks unreferenced to you? I'll be happy to fill in any blanks.
What ought we do to expand the Configurations section? The original intent was to provide the context for SA-500D. In fact, that section had been part of the lede previously, specifically because it was there for establishing content. I have thought to write articles for each of the other configurations, but time being what it is... -- ke4roh (talk) 21:26, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
The issue regarding citations really seems to be mostly placement of them. For instance, in the Configurations section, only the first bullet-point is referenced; now, I'm assuming here, but it seems that the rest of that information probably came from the same book, and as such, the entire section could be cited to that book by moving the reference to just below the text. As for expanding it, I don't own the referenced book, and don't know if you do either, but it seems there should be more to say about each model. Maybe there isn't enough information about them that is notable enough for a separate article, but this article would be a great location for the information if it can be found. Again, it is certainly at least a B-class article; don't get the impression I'm dogging it for being poor quality, because its definitely on the right track. Happy editing! --Xession (talk) 21:38, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
Fantastic. What else does it need besides what I did today? -- ke4roh (talk) 03:31, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
I have initiated a formal reassessment process which should hopefully result in a more detailed review to help to bring the article up to GA standards. See Wikipedia:Good article reassessment/SA-500D/1. I have copied this discussion there, and I would suggest that further discussion be directed there. --GW 08:51, 27 February 2011 (UTC)


I just posted the revision of the Magellan article. It took forever and I'm sure I still missed some things; the Discoveries section especially needs work. Let me know what needs fixed or feel free to add whatever is necessary. Thanks --Xession (talk) 21:21, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Nomination for deletion of Template:Launching

Ambox warning pn.svgTemplate:Launching has been nominated for deletion. You are invited to comment on the discussion at the template's entry on the Templates for discussion page. 117Avenue (talk) 00:47, 3 March 2011 (UTC)


I can not believe this crap. Heads up on the long list of TedderBot edits which removed the templates in question above. Heres the bot page: User:TedderBot, and this list of contribs. --Xession (talk) 07:31, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

IMAX Movies

I'm not sure if this has been discussed before but there exists are a fair number of IMAX films discussing various missions/scenarios. I was wondering if these should be included within the project or not?

-List of IMAX films - I may have missed a few

--Xession (talk) 19:17, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I'd say these should be part of the project, as long as the subject of the movie is related to spaceflight. The Blue Planet film is an exception, since it doesn't seem to be about spaceflight, but rather about the Earth (some footage was filmed from space, but that doesn't seem enough to qualify). Mlm42 (talk) 20:42, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
I concur with Mlm42's take on it. Definitely in the project if related to spaceflight. N2e (talk) 19:40, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

launch and landing modes article

The name of VTVL is under discussion, see Talk:VTVL (talk) 21:07, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

Astronaut article titles

I was recently reverted when I tried to move Mark E. Kelly to Mark Kelly (astronaut). I've made several page moves like this, to be in line with WP:QUALIFIER. My understanding is that the article titles (e.g. Duane G. Carey, Charles O. Hobaugh, James M. Kelly, etc.) include their middle initial, because this is what they are called in their official NASA biographies, and most of the article content is copied directly from there. I think the use of their middle initial here is not in line with WP:QUALIFIER, because it is rarely used in other sources. Do others agree? I don't want to start moving a bunch of pages, just to have them moved back. Mlm42 (talk) 17:12, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

Seems like the first portion of the section in the link, describes a situation where it would be best to keep the initial in there if that can be used to discern between different people of popular interest (not really sure that is the case). His name could also be added to the Mark Kelly disambiguation page, for those looking for him if nothing is changed. There is of course a statement that may go along with your intentions; "Adding middle names, or their abbreviations, merely for disambiguation purposes (if that format of the name is not commonly used to refer to the person) is not advised." However, it seems if they are referred to as this in their biographies, they may meet the exception in the statement as well. I don't personally have an opinion on it either way but as with many pages in the MoS, there is some contradiction in the content and much of it is arbitrary. --Xession (talk) 18:26, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
But I read the guideline as saying: if there's a usual way of disambiguating, then use that. I'm saying using his middle initial is hardly "usual".. I would say the usual way of disambiguating astronauts names with others of the same name would be simply: Mark Kelly, the astronaut. Using a middle initial to disambiguate is not usual for most people (in the examples they gave, George W. Bush, and John F. Kennedy, the middle initial is usually used, but this is not normal.). Mlm42 (talk) 18:53, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
And I wouldn't disagree. I didn't mean to imply the initial should stay, I was simply giving most of the potential angles to the proposition. --Xession (talk) 20:30, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

The whole reason we have guidelines over article titles is to try and direct people as clearly as possible to the information they want to obtain. Lets use some common sense. What is the likelihood they at least know the person's profession? Fairly high I should imagine or they wouldn't be looking them up. What is the likelihood they know the persons middle name? It is clear it makes most sense to disambiguate using the persons profession. The only reason why the article name guidelines say it's preferable to use the subject's name found in reliable sources is because that's often the standard form people will search in but in the case of the names of people it's usually a **** poor method of disambiguation. Yeah sure, if the viewer found the biography on the NASA site they might use his name with the initial, but they'll still know he's an astronaut anyway. But most people won't have been on the NASA site. ChiZeroOne (talk) 19:58, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

So do I gather there is agreement that the "(astronaut)" disambiguator is better than using a middle initial? The number of articles this move affects is quite large (see Category:American astronauts). Mlm42 (talk) 19:22, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
That was my understanding. --Xession (talk) 19:23, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
Far better, yes. I'm sure you know but just to remind, they only need to be changed if there is a disambiguation page for the name. ChiZeroOne (talk) 19:35, 5 March 2011 (UTC)