Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Space/2010 Reorganisation

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What is the role of WikiProject Space, and how can the project be reformed or redefined in order to serve its purposes? What role should it have, if any, with regards to the coordination of child WikiProjects? Is there any need for this project's continued existence, or should it be abolished in favour of the child projects? Can any improvements be made to the structuring of the child projects? Can activity within the child projects be improved? --22:11, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

I would also like to clarify that in spite of the canvassing on the astronomical objects talk page this is not a top-down proposal to "abolish" the child projects. The two proposals put up on the Space discussion page were just two ideas for how a restructuring could be achieved, and not exhaustive options. Since WPSpace is the central coordinating project, it was the most logical place to hold the discussion and should have encouraged contribution from both sides of the project. Due to the opposition from members of the astronomical objects project to having this discussed on that page, I have posted this RFC on a subpage in the WPSpace project space, in the same manner as the last reorganisation. --GW 22:11, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Initial discussion at WT:SPACEEdit

Copied from Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Space
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

During some discussions on several of the child project talk pages, the role of this project has been called into question. It appears the WP:SPACE is not currently doing anything, and that all work is being done by the lower projects, such as WP:ASTRO and WP:SPACEFLIGHT. Two remedies have been suggested for the situation so far:

  1. Centralising the entire project by upmerging all child projects to become task forces of one monolithic project with an organisational structure similar to WP:MILHIST, which is one of the most successful projects.
  2. Splitting the astronomy and spaceflight sides of the project, and abolishing WP:SPACE.

I feel that it would be a good idea to start a discussion here in order to try and establish a consensus on what action if any should be taken. Can anyone offer any input? --GW 21:07, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

  • I support option 1. I think WP:Space could be as good (and maybe better) then WP:MillHist. So put one !Vote for option 1.--NavyBlue84 21:56, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Option 1, for sure. Astro, Spaceflight and others can be Task Forces a la Milhist. - The Bushranger Return fireFlank speed 22:21, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Option 2 definitely. Astronomy is a science wikiproject, WPSpace is nothing of the sort. If anything, Astronomy can be placed under WPPhysics better than under WPSpace. Whether or not WPSpace is abolished, I care not, but merging Astronomy tightly would be very bad. (talk) 06:43, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment I would suggest that if MILHIST can combine histories of battles & wars, biographies of the people involved and articles about the machines used to carry them out, we can safely combine articles about stars, planets and the means of getting to them rather well. I'd suggest three task forces for WPSpace; Astronomy, Solar System and Spaceflight, each operating its own portal (with the abolishment of the Space portal). Colds7ream (talk) 08:21, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Under option 1, I would favour putting Solar System under Astronomical Objects, which could either be brought to the same level as astronomy and spaceflight, or kept under astronomy. Astronomy should keep constellations, some of the current third level projects and task forces could become working groups. --GW/P 15:33, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Could someone please explain to me the distinction between Astronomy and Astronomical objects, because they seem practically synonymous to me. I would have thought that having three taskforces, one for everything within the Solar System, one for everything beyond the Solar System and one for the methods of reaching said places would be the best option? Colds7ream (talk) 16:41, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure what they're actually doing (I'm not very active on the WP:ASTRO side of the project), but I would have seen astronomy dealing more with the abstract concepts, observations and people, whilst AO deals with the objects themselves. I don't see the point in distinguishing between objects inside and outside the solar system. Objects in the solar system are still astronomical objects, and therefore it would make sense if the same project/task force dealt with them. --GW/P 17:09, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Seems reasonable; my suggestion was merely to assist in dividing the labour, but if people are happy splitting it that way, that works for me. Colds7ream (talk) 18:15, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Astronomy is already well managed, there is no point in keeping it under WPSpace. (talk) 05:52, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
Astronomy is divided similarly to WPAviation, which has WPAircraft as a subproject, so Astronomy has Astronomical objects to deal with various celestial bodies and classes of celestial bodies; as WPAircraft deals with aircraft, aircraft models, aircraft classes, but not aerodynamics. (talk) 05:56, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
Can we get some WP:Astronomy members involved here to see what they think? It seems to be a bit pretentious of us spaceflight folks to dictate what the astronomy editors should be doing. Can I also please just clarify that I haven't decided my position on this either way yet (i.e. option 1 or 2). Colds7ream (talk) 10:49, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
Agreed, I was hoping they'd have taken an interest by now. Do you have any objections to me starting an RFC and mass-messaging everyone involved? --GW 13:44, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
If so can it emphasise the fact this is at a very preliminary stage? Although I did post messages on Astronomy, Solar System and Spaceflight linking to this page the present discussion has rubbed some editors up the wrong way, [1]. I don't think it helps suggesting that this is yet an "either or" between Option 1 and Option 2 or that this is a decision to made just by WP:Space. ChiZeroOne (talk) 15:14, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

I was thinking of launching an RfC myself actually, GW, so feel free to go ahead as far as I'm concerned. I agree with ChiZeroOne though, we need to make sure everyone's on the same page with this to prevent any ugly business, as we really don't want any more of that having experienced it so recently. Colds7ream (talk) 15:52, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

I am fairly attentive to the goings on at WP:Astronomy, though I don't make edits constantly. I had no idea until this discussion started that WP:Astronomy was a part of WP:Space, mainly because there is not much on the project page that merits attention, so I only saw now there is a box on the WP:Astronomy page that has WP:Space as the heading. This is perhaps a long winded way of saying that from my perspective, WP:Space has not served any important purpose, and it does not seem that WP:Astronomy would lose anything by being separated from WP:Space. Everything that happens pretty much happens on the talk page for the project.
All of that said, if someone wants to start organizing concerted efforts project wide under the heading of Space, I might support some sort of variation of Option 1. I think I'd like to hear more concrete details than "make it like WP:MILHIST" though first. Otherwise, my preference would be to split WP:Astronomy from WP:Space. James McBride (talk) 21:01, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
  • I support Option 2 at the moment. The Spaceflight and Astronomy sides appear de facto separate right now anyway. Of course, if there were interest from the Astronomy side to merge into a bigger project, I would support that; but I haven't really heard much interest in this direction. A related issue is whether it is beneficial to merge all (5?) of the Spaceflight WikiProjects into one, and rename the child projects as Task Forces. As the WikiProject Council points out, this is a way to reduce the bureacratic overhead associated with a WikiProject. Currently these wikiprojects are acting similarly to Task Forces anyway. So I would support the move to unify the Spaceflight WikiProjects, but to keep Astronomy separate. Mlm42 (talk) 04:45, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
I would point out we don't necessarily need to have like-for-like taskforces and the new Spaceflight project could easily create new ones like “NASA”, for example. We can also implement new ideas like some of those already hinted at from Milhist. But yes I suggest we have a poll of Spaceflight/daughter members about this once the issue of what will happen to Space has been sorted out. Wouldn’t be surprised if this goes the same way as the portal merge. ChiZeroOne (talk) 01:58, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
  • I'm not a member of this project, but I am a member of both Astronomy projects. I'd have to say I am strongly opposed to option 1. I believe you'll need the consensus of both those WikiProjects to pull it off, and that seems very unlikely.—RJH (talk) 20:34, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

At this point, discussion was relocated to this page. --GW 22:11, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Current structureEdit

Astronomical Objects
Solar System
Space Colonization
Human Spaceflight
Timeline of Spaceflight
Unmanned Spaceflight


The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Consensus was in favour of Option 2, with WikiProject Space being abolished. Colds7ream (talk) 15:32, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

I have opened an RFC to try and get more input on the situation, hopefully more of the astronomy editors will be able to contribute, and I'm yet to see anything from the Solar System projects. --GW 22:11, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

It's worth considering the approach taken in the UK by the Science and Technology Facilities Council and UK Space Agency (a US version would be NASA vs. National Science Foundation.) - the two clearly separate the technical and human aspects of space from the understanding of the universe. As a specific example, man treading on the moon has little in connection with observing the earliest light in the universe apart from them both involving rockets. From a blank slate perspective, I would suggest having one project focused on spaceflight (with a clear link to an engineering project), and a separate one involved with astronomy/astrophysics (with a clear link to a physics project). Mike Peel (talk) 01:29, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Option 2. I don't think they should be merged. They seem to be functioning just fine. A move of projects could only create problems. atomic7732 03:43, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment I feel this may be a good time to present the current results of my efforts to discover the number of active spaceflight editors. As of 29 November 2010, the member lists stand at:
  • WP Spaceflight - 9 active of 67 total (after 11 days) - updated 07:02, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
  • WP Human spaceflight - 15 active of 58 total (after 12 days)
  • WP Unmanned spaceflight - 7 active of 16 total (after 18 days) - updated 08:24, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
  • WP Space colonisation - 2 active of 35 total (after 8 days)
  • WP Timeline of spaceflight - 7 active of 16 total (after 9 days)
Personally, I think this underscores the need for merging - these numbers are insufficient to operate this many projects, especially considering that they represent only 24 unique users. Colds7ream (talk) 10:01, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
I think having 24 unique active users isn't too bad; so I don't think this shows a need to merge with WP Astronomy, which I believe is the question at hand. Mlm42 (talk) 16:55, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
It seems that merging those five mentioned into a WP:SPACEFLIGHT would be the best way to go, with WP:ASTRO left as-is, then?—Preceding unsigned comment added by The Bushranger (talkcontribs) 16:56, 29 November 2010
Although membership numbers is an issue I don't think it's the main one with the present set-up regarding Spaceflight but simply the fact that there is unnecessary conflict in the way it's presently organised. There is large membership overlap and the position of Spaceflight is similar to Space at the moment with all the work passed down to daughters but in this case we have the bizarre situation that the scope of Spaceflight includes that of all it's daughters. They already are effectively taskforces but with none of the benefits of that structure in reducing competition and pooling resources. I don't see this whole process as overcoming problems of lack of membership but more about how we can improve these projects to stimulate collaboration on space-related articles. Once we sort that out, retaining members will be easier anyway. ChiZeroOne (talk) 23:20, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Some kind of merging and reorganization of these spaceflight subgroupings does sound like a good idea to me at the moment. I personally would like to see human expansion off the Earth (however labeled) as one major pillar. Then the automated and utilitarian side is hugely important, economically (communications, Earth observations, weather, GPS,...), scientifically (space physics, planetology and Solar System exploration), politically and militarily. And then of course the whole enabling technology and engineering end is vast. But it seems to me that we probably need to settle the option1/option2 question of unification or separation of Space and Astronomy (in favor of option2, separation, I hope) before tackling the next level.Wwheaton (talk) 20:41, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Option 2. If WP:SPACE isn't doing anything, it needs to be abolished. I think merging WP:ASTRONOMY and WP:SPACEFLIGHT would be bureaucratically too difficult, so it's better to keep them separate. There's also a big difference in that other is a science topic, while the other is mostly an engineering topic. Offliner (talk) 14:39, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
    It isn't doing anything at the moment, but that doesn't necessarily mean that abolition is the only way to resolve this, another option would be to make it do something. --GW/P 17:11, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
  • In broad terms, option 2 seems a pretty good idea to me - amalgamate all the "throwing things into space" projects, but keep the "astronomy" side separate. The overlap (mostly some planetary-sciences material & astronomical satellites) can easily be tagged for both projects. Shimgray | talk | 01:44, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Option 2. WPAstronomy is clearly active and well managed, with large active memebership, and clearly defined. Whatever stress WPSpace might be under, should not be used to infect Astronomy just to try to clean it up. (talk) 02:37, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Option 2. There certainly does not seem to be much support at WP:ASTRO for a merged wikiproject, and dead silence at WP:AST doesn't seem to be a ringing endorsement either (especially since a proposal to merge WP:AST and WP:ASTRO had already been declined). --Christopher Thomas (talk) 03:05, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
    To clarify, under option 1, AST and ASTRO would remain as independent of each other as they are now, but become task forces of WPSpace rather than projects in their own right. --GW 12:25, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Option 2 - merge the Space flight related articles, (as they are all human related), and posssibly make Astronomy a sub-project of PhysicsPetebutt (talk) 12:48, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
(subproject of physics): I don't know about that, stellar cartography isn't a physics topic, nor are constellations... Astronomy, Physics and Chemistry seem to be primordial sciences (astronomy from astrology, physics from natural philosphy, chemistry from alchemy), true, modern astronomy is mostly astrophysics, but historically that isn't the case. (talk) 05:37, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Option 2. I am pretty firmly of the opinion that the Astronomy and Space projects should remain separated. Obviously they have strong connections, with space technology enabling a large and growing part of modern astronomical research. Still, astronomy as the basic science of understanding the Universe -- the Stage on which "we live, move, and have our being" -- goes back thousands of years, and is an essential part of human culture, with deep and important links to physics, philosophy, and religion. It is also big: bigger than our physically explored space: in volume, by a factor of 1030 at least (and that is not likely to change much for many centuries), and also vastly bigger in the time dimension. I am convinced that human expansion off the Earth and into space is almost perfectly analogous to the movement of life from the sea onto the land, and that is of course huge and tremendously significant too, but it is very different from astronomy. (It may actually be more deeply related to biology?) It seems to me that neither Astronomy nor Space are proper subsets of any larger, super-category (except perhaps Human Cultural Activities), and I think it is probably unhelpful in practice to try to force them into some common conceptual box. I wonder if some kind of cross-disciplinary connection might be formalized. (How has Wikipedia handled this sort of situation in other areas of arts and sciences?) It might be nice to have a way that the two projects can communicate, "honor and bow to one another" as it were, and coordinate. Yet I oppose a shotgun marriage at this point; I fear we would create a weird hybrid monstrosity. Revisit the issue in a century or two, I think! Wwheaton (talk) 17:26, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Wwheaton, remember that option 2 is to separate WP:Astronomy and WP:Spaceflight, which would be achieved by dissolving WP:Space. Mlm42 (talk) 22:31, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Option 2 - Whilst I firmly believe that option 1 would be the ideal solution, providing a greater number of editors and reducing the amount of organisational overhead, the opposition from (and seeming bureaucratic nightmare of) the astronomy-related projects leads me to the opinion that attempting to combine would be difficult in the extreme and produce a lot of bad feeling, making this option currently unfeasible. Therefore I am supporting option 2 by default as at least a step in the right direction. Colds7ream (talk) 11:41, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Assessment grades for Spaceflight and Unmanned SpaceflightEdit

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Closed as Support the move to standardised assessment. Colds7ream (talk) 15:32, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

The Spaceflight and Unmanned Spaceflight projects are both still using the "standard" assessment scale, whilst all other projects that assess are using the "extended" scale. This is causing conflicts in the unified template which are causing the miscategorisation of some articles. The only real difference between the systems is that the extended scale subcategorises non-article pages, whilst the standard scale lists them all as "N/A". I would like to propose that the scale be standardised, and Spaceflight and Unmanned Spaceflight adopt the same scale as the rest of the projects (i.e. the extended scale). --GW/P 17:49, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Support - Seems like a good idea to me. Colds7ream (talk) 18:13, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Support - ditto. - The Bushranger Return fireFlank speed 19:40, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Support - Having the same scales across all projects is a good idea.--NavyBlue84 01:22, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Solar System and other projectsEdit

In the event that the projects are split, I would like to suggest that the Solar System project should remain with the astronomy projects, possibly as a child of Astronomical Objects. It is currently a direct child of WPSpace, which would result in it becoming completely independent in the event of a split. I think it would be more logical to keep planets and astronomy together. --GW 13:08, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

I would agree with this, and would also suggest that the Moon and Mars projects be merged into Solar System, as they seem a) inactive and b) totally unnecessary. Colds7ream (talk) 18:36, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
The Astronomy listing at the Directory of WikiProjects already has Solar System as a child of Astronomy, it looks like; it also lists WP Mars and Moon as inactive, as Colds7ream pointed out. I guess the main change here would be adding the Solar System project to the banner {{WikiProject Astronomy}} (which seems like a good move to me). But broadly speaking, I think these changes and/or decisions should be made by WP Astronomy and Solar System, and could be made after the decision to dissolve WP:Space is finalized (which is looking more and more likely). Mlm42 (talk) 19:34, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
I think it would be logical to discuss this change now since the organisation of all the projects is up in the air. That said, such a discussion must include Solar System members, so if necessary, we should mass-message all the relevant members to make sure they are aware the discussion is going on. --GW 21:20, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
These boundaries seem inevitably vague. I think much of what has traditionally been called "Space physics", "Space science", "Solar-terrestrial physics", etc -- that is, things with immediate relevance to the local terrestrial environment and near-Earth applications -- might stay on the Space side. Perhaps the line between Space and Astronomy should be defined pragmatically, in terms of the (moving, cis/trans) limit inside which we are practically and economically involved now or in the arguably near future, and beyond which our interest is mainly driven by scientific knowledge and exploration goals. In the same spirit, I think we might consider keeping the Moon and Near-Earth objects on the Space side (we do have redirects to route readers smoothly across such boundaries). Mars? I dunno, I'd probably say Space, as it is becoming of practical interest. But both astronomy editors and space editors are clearly going to be very interested in it. Maybe just accept that some articles have to be shared between the two sides. We don't need to be too dogmatically consistent. Wwheaton (talk) 21:33, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
If "option 2" goes through, then there would be no "space side". They would have to be categorised as either spaceflight or astronomy, and I would say that astronomy would be closer. I would support a joint "space exploration" task force between Spaceflight, Astronomy and possibly Solar System to cover the overlap if the projects are split. --GW 21:47, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
GW, such a joint task force sounds like a good idea. Mlm42 (talk) 22:33, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
I suggest that Moon and Mars be merged into Solar System as task forces; Solar System can remain independant... I see it as a "regional project" like WPEurope or WPCaribbean, which is not a geography project. It covers a region. Spaceflight and space exploration all occur within the Solar System, and will continue to do so for the forseeable future, but such missions that extend beyond Earth orbit would be tagged with WPSS (Moon for lunar, Mars for martian). Just as an article on the geology of Scandinavia would be tagged with WPEurope and WPGeology, this would tag spaceflight articles with the region of the spaceflight. (talk) 05:31, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
It might be useful to add TFs for the Sun and Earth as well... (Earth for Earth orbit, or ground based space exploration (ie. Mars habitat in the arctic or Utah) or underwater space training) (talk) 05:33, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
I would suggest that there aren't enough users to maintain one project sufficiently, never mind spawning umpteen taskforces too. I would also oppose the idea of solar system taking on the spaceflight articles with separate taskforces dependent on location - we're trying to cut down insufficiency here, not create more of it, and spacecraft belong with spaceflight. Colds7ream (talk) 22:45, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Colds7ream, I can't think of any reason to form either of those task forces. Any coverage of exploration should be handled by the joint task force. To clarify, this task force should only handle exploration conducted by spacecraft, and that should be clearly defined. My suggestion is that lunar/planetary, solar and astronomical missions be considered exploration, manned spaceflight should only be considered exploration if it meets one of these criteria. I believe that the failure of the former Space Exploration WikiProject was down to its badly defined scope, and we're still pulling planets and asteroids out of the WPSpaceflight assessment system. --GW 23:10, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Has any thought been given to getting WPRocketry involved? I think the overlap between the resulting WPSpaceflight and rocketry is sufficient to warrant considering merging here, too. Colds7ream (talk) 16:52, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Aren't almost all rockets not spacebound? ie. the Skval torpedo, the Me-163 Komet, the Congreves rocket, the Katyusha rocket, the panzerfaust rocket, RPGs in Iraq and Afghanistan, etc (hell... it looks like most of them are military... and WPMILHIST has a weapons and a technology task force and aviation... since most of the rockets function in the air) (talk) 06:08, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
I would oppose that, I think too much of rocketry has little relevance to spaceflight (atmospheric sounding rockets, for example). That said, WPRocketry does need some kind of reorganisation, and I would also suggest maintaining close ties with them. Whilst we're on the subject of other projects, how about WikiProject Europe's ESA task force? It doesn't look very active, and might be a candidate for merging with spaceflight, or conversion to a joint working group between Spaceflight and Europe. Either way, I think it would be better off under Spaceflight than Europe, since Europe seems more specialised towards politics and geography than technology. --GW 18:05, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
A joint 'launch vehicles' taskforce then? Colds7ream (talk) 18:10, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
I agree Rocketry is perhaps too broad to be included. Might it be possible to share a "Launch vehicle" task force between Spaceflight and Rocketry, perhaps hosted on the Spaceflight side? I fully support the ESA task force coming under Spaceflight, its present situation seems rather odd. It's not in the best place to get interested attention. ChiZeroOne (talk) 18:15, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
I also like the idea of moving the (seemingly inactive) ESA task force over - I've posted a message requesting opinions at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Europe/ESA#Space projects reorganisation. Colds7ream (talk) 18:24, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure if we could maintain a launch vehicles task force, but if we could I would advocate putting it under rocketry not spaceflight since launch systems are, quite simply, rockets. Personally, I think that the best solution would just be to increase interactivity with WPRocketry. Orbital launch systems should be tagged by both spaceflight and rocketry, I'm not sure about spacegoing sounding rockets and missiles. --GW 18:38, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
We should also remember the Military History Weaponry task force, which has the extensive {{infobox weapon}}, which includes many parameters relating to missiles. I'm not sure how active WPRocketry is; I guess this discussion suggests it shouldn't be a subproject of Spaceflight, even though the WikiProject council lists it as such. I don't know. But yes, I think ESA should be made a joint task force under Spaceflight and WP:Europe. Mlm42 (talk) 07:22, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

"Space exploration"?Edit

You know, given the fact the entire Solar System is coming into the realm of exploration perhaps an idea is to go back to the old model, WP:Spaceflight -> WP:Space exploration (or a different name?) and for Solar System to be a part of that wider project? Perhaps contentious I know, but It's an idea. ChiZeroOne (talk) 18:09, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

I think that would undo a lot of the progress we have made. We're trying to get rid of child projects, not create new ones, and putting Solar System under Spaceflight would be a recipe for disaster. I would also argue that objects that are within the realm of exploration, or even objects that are being actively explored, are not necessarily within the scope of exploration. Exploration of Mars would be within the scope of space exploration, Mars itself contains a section on exploration, however this does not make it an article about exploration. It mostly covers the physical and astronomical properties of the planet. --GW 18:38, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Fair point on the rocketry (let's open diplomatic relations! :-D), and I agree entirely with you on the 'space exploration' issue. Lets leave heavenly bodies to the astro side of things and the machines we use to get to them on the spaceflight side, eh? Colds7ream (talk) 18:42, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
I didn't mean that Solar System would be a child but that it would be merged into the larger project. The new project would effectively be WP:Space -Astronomy. Also I realise "Space Exploration" might not be the best name for such a project, just an example. Just raising the idea, I said it might be contentious! :-) ChiZeroOne (talk) 19:08, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
That is basically option 1 in the discussion above. This discussion was for what to do with the Solar System project if option 2 were chosen. --GW 19:29, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
No it would be neither 1 or 2, it would be a de-parent and partially merge. I fail to see how the opening suggestion of putting the currently independant Solar System under Astronomy is any different, and in fact creates new child projects for that side which is what you don't want. It was just a suggestion anyway, I don't mind if it's not accepted. ChiZeroOne (talk) 20:06, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't fully understand your proposal. You say you want to combine space and astronomy, and to merge in Solar System as well, so how is that different to option 1? Also, I'm trying to avoid creating child projects on the spaceflight side, the astronomy side could probably handle it, and in any case since it would be done by getting rid of a top-level project, it still improves the organisation. --GW 20:40, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
No no no, It would be to get rid of WP:Space as per option 2 and merge Spaceflight and Solar System into one new project representing "explorable space", Astronomy would be on its own. After all, it is Astronomy in particular that is against option 1, even I think there is merit in a superproject but it's obvious it won't get consensus from WP:Ast. So this would be like a "Space" superproject minus the Astronomy, effectively a scaled-down option 1. I'm not particularly wedded to the idea but it's just something that could be done with Solar System. ChiZeroOne (talk) 21:17, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm strongly opposed that idea. I think that it would give us most of the drawbacks of both proposals, and fewer of the advantages. The "superproject" would cover two vastly different areas - planets and spacecraft, but I do not believe that WPSolar alone would provide enough activity to pull this off. It would also return us to the horrible situation we had with the old Space Exploration project, which had such a large and vague scope that it was unable to operate effectively, and eventually spiralled into inactivity. I don't think we need to merge these projects just for the sake of a few planetary missions, and Solar System would be better off concentrating on the astronomical bodies within the system, hence becoming part of the astronomy side of the projects. A task force should be sufficient to deal with the overlap, which I feel to be far greater in the other direction. I prefer option 1, however I am also happy with option 2, and I do not feel there is any way that option 1 could work or be made to work without the astronomy projects. --GW 22:00, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Fair enough. ChiZeroOne (talk) 01:00, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
I also believe that the problem with Option 1 (Centralising the entire project) was that it would have been to broad and unfocused. As an active member of Wikipedia:WikiProject Solar System, I think it would be fine to be a child project of Wikipedia:WikiProject Astronomy. I also enjoy spaceflight topics as well, but generally there are only so many topics that a single editor can focus on. -- Kheider (talk) 18:07, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Restructuring of WPSpaceflight under Option 2Edit

Since consensus seems to be forming to abolish WPSpace, I would like to propose a restructuring of WPSpaceflight to optimise its activity:

  • The Human Spaceflight, Unmanned Spaceflight and Space Colonisation projects become task forces.
  • The Timeline of Spaceflight project is merged with spaceflight, however is retained as a separate subpage.
  • A joint "space exploration" task force/working group is formed between Spaceflight, Astronomy and Solar System, located under WPSpaceflight.
  • Activities are undertaken to keep members engaged, including:
    A project newsletter
    An increased emphasis on article assessment, including a push towards developing an A-class review system operable within a smaller project.
    Election of two or three project coordinators to organise these activities.

A class review requires two uninvolved editors to assess it as meeting the criteria. It hasn't been very successful in smaller projects due to lack of activity in assessment. My suggestion for implementing this would be to expect coordinators to contribute to any reviews that they are not involved with. Other editors would of course be free and encouraged to comment, and the coordinators comments would not be given any extra weight, however it should ensure that unless multiple coordinators are involved with such an article, it can receive sufficient reviews to meet the global criteria. --GW 12:11, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

I would support these ideas in general, with a few caveats. First, I'd suggest that the space colonisation project doesn't have enough active members to even form a taskforce, and should be abolished entirely until such point as it has more editors involved and more articles within it. Next, can I just check that TLS would be a taskforce within spaceflight, and not a sub-project? Finally, I would strongly oppose any attempts to add tiers of editors into such a small project - with more editors involved on one talk page, I'm sure we can happily do this without the need for coordinators, which add messy bureaucracy and would, I feel, lead to animosity. As an aside, good shout on the newsletter - can I suggest 'The Downlink' as a good name? :-) Colds7ream (talk) 22:50, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
TLS would be neither a task force nor a project, all of its functions would be subsumed by WPSpaceflight, but due to the large differences between TLS articles and normal articles, the information would simply be housed on a subpage. As for coordinators, I was not proposing to create a tier of editors, merely to find people who are prepared to take responsibility for ensuring that the project remains active and administrative tasks are conducted. They would have absolutely no additional powers compared to other members. If an alternative name would be more appropriate then that may be a solution. I don't feel strongly about this, I just think that it could be helpful. That just leaves the issue of the colonisation project. I would support its abolition, although is there any chance it could be reformed to cover other long-term concepts such as nuclear propulsion, superluminal propulsion, etcetera. --GW 23:03, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarifications - the TLS situation seems perfectly reasonable to me, but I still feel that, with the current number of involved editors, coordinators are unnecessary at this point - if we ever reach the heady heights of MILHIST-type numbers then we can reconsider the thought, but at present I'm sure we can rumble along perfectly happily without them (and all the hassle their election brings). As for space colonisation, if we were discussion this in 2110, then it would probably have enough material for a separate taskforce (or even project), but there's just not enough to justify it at present, in my opinion. On a not-totally-unrelated note, given that option 2 does seem to be gathering steam, I think we should start considering the startup tasks the new WP:Spaceflight will have to carry out. Here's my immediate thoughts:
  • Form consensus on taskforce organisation and execute the required changes.
  • Create a new project banner with fields for the agreed taskforces.
  • Develop a new set of importance criteria for the project (possibly based on the HSF criteria?)
I started doing exactly this here, but it still needs to be completed. Mlm42 (talk) 17:24, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
  • 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.
This is a big job, so in the mean time I wonder if we can redirect the WP:Space banner to the appropriate project banner(s)? (at least once the WP:Spaceflight banner is functional) This probably required some template-expertise. Mlm42 (talk) 17:24, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Refresh the list of featured and good content within the project's scope (including articles, files and so on).
This job is being done by a bot, so we don't need to do it manually. We can modify the bot's parameters if we want more or less content; the bot considers articles whose talk pages are tagged with Category:WikiProject Spaceflight articles, which is added by the banners. Mlm42 (talk) 17:24, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Carry out the agreed merge of the spaceflight portals with discussion as to what form the new portal should take.
  • 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.
Any other thoughts? Colds7ream (talk) 11:51, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Great ideas - I like it when a plan starts to take shape! Maybe we should move this discussion to WP:Spaceflight? Mlm42 (talk) 17:24, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't quite get the distinction with TLS, it was my understanding that task forces usually operated on a separate subpage anyway but derived most of their generic functions from the parent, including things like sharing a talk page with the main project. This seems to fit nicely with what is wanted of TLS, it would just be a bit more independant of Spaceflight in some functions.
I don't think we need appointed coordinators for now, effectively for the moment the "coordinators" are all of us who are actively engaged in the project pages. If anything having appointed coordinators will make other editors think they shouldn't bother with maintenance because the coordinators "should" be doing that.
Some great ideas for tasks there Colds7ream. Some comments and ideas;
  • The first thing I would do though is 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.
  • Institute an active/inactive members distinction to allow editors to easily find who is likely around to help.
Yes, and maybe adding a criterion that members who haven't made an edit in 30 days automatically get moved to the inactive category (to prevent the list from degrading over time). Mlm42 (talk) 17:40, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
  • We would also need to consider whether we want a "personalised" assessment criteria for the project, because we would inherit the generic one from WP:Space.
I also replied to Colds7eam's comment in this direction, with the unfinished page here. Mlm42 (talk) 17:40, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Not sure whether you realised but I was referring to the quality assessment where all Spaceflight projects currently use WP:Space's generic one? ChiZeroOne (talk) 18:58, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Oh quality assessment, not importance; gotcha. I guess quality is less subjective, and more Wikipedia-wide; so there's more of a need for us to sort out the importance ratings, since that's WikiProject-specific. Mlm42 (talk) 19:43, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Consider implementing a "popular pages" to keep track of the quality of highly viewed articles. Perhaps a starting point for collaboration?
A request can be made here for popular pages (similar to Wikipedia:WikiProject Space/Popular pages); actually, I thought I already made a request, but it may not have worked because of an old capitalization issue in the categories (i.e. Category:B-Class spaceflight articles vs. Category:WikiProject Spaceflight articles.. sigh). Mlm42 (talk) 17:40, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Ah, that'll need sorting out, probably for the banner to work properly too? ChiZeroOne (talk) 18:58, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Will guidelines be centralised and generalised or left to task forces?
  • As for the recruitment drive perhaps create a recruitment banner?
  • 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 threw together this format a few days ago, mostly because I didn't know how best to incorporate the recognized content. By a "menu" system, you mean tabs along the top of the page? I had thought of this too; what tabs should there be? Mlm42 (talk) 17:40, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
No problem, just this format seems hard to work with most monitor set-ups and we'll need to split the growing amount of content anyway. I also think developing a clear unique and eye-catching identity (what I was doing with the Unmanned spaceflight header, stole the idea from Aviation) is important to generate interest and make the project feel like a community. Yes something like that (or like I have on my userpage) or more likely a navbox, I wasn't particularly being specific, just an easy way to navigate subpages. I suggest we work out all the different areas of the project we're going to need to display before we get more specific about such details though. ChiZeroOne (talk) 18:58, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
I've got some other ideas but perhaps getting ahead of myself! ChiZeroOne (talk) 17:04, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
With regards to TLS, I've come to think that most lists would be better maintained by WPSpaceflight, and the Timeline articles themselves would not really give the project enough scope to justify a task force. I see it becoming more of a page of guidelines, with all activity transferred to the parent project. Once the historical portions of the timeline are finished the project will probably die anyway. If I hadn't been a newbie at the time, I would not have created the project. --GW 18:41, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

It looks like the various child projects of WP:Spaceflight are going to get converted somehow into "task forces", which seems like a good idea. But I'd like to point out another option: a "working group". See, for example, the Japanese swords working group created by (the famous) Kirill Lokshin; this seems like a good way to track progress of some editors' efforts, especially on a very precisely defined set of articles. For example, maybe there's demand for a "Timeline of spaceflight working group". I personally would like to make something like a "Space station expeditions" working group, since I'd like to improve (indeed create) more expedition articles for the ISS, Mir, Salyut 6 and 7. It's essentially just a subpage (potentially with the talk page redirected higher up), but still seems worthwhile. Mlm42 (talk) 02:21, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Workgroups can be a sublevel of taskforces... (talk) 05:33, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

I've started a draft "Issue Zero" of the newsletter to give an idea of what I had in mind, not much in it yet, but it is a work in progress. Wikipedia:WikiProject Spaceflight/Downlink --GW 17:13, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Looks great! :-) Colds7ream (talk) 17:30, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Possible new WP:Spaceflight structureEdit

Taking into consideration what was said above, I think the following structure might work:

  • WP:Spaceflight
    • Task force: Human spaceflight (renaming the project page and talk page should do the trick)
    • Task force: ESA (either renaming the WP:Europe page, or just including a link to their task force)
    • Task force: Space exploration (create, with the scope of "all spaceflights leaving Earth's orbit", or something, joint task force with WP:Solar system)

Then other projects could be dissolved as follows:

  • Timeline of spaceflight (rename)-> Subpage of WP:Spaceflight, (possibly called a "working group")
  • Space colonization (rename)-> Subpage of WP:Spaceflight
  • Unmanned spaceflight (merge)-> into WP:Spaceflight (no dedicated subpage)

Regarding unmanned spaceflight, it might seem odd to have a task force for manned spaceflight as well as a task force for unmanned spaceflight.. because there's nothing else! :) More to the point, I think it would be easy to merge the unmanned spaceflight project page into WP:Spaceflight, in particular the template subpage Wikipedia:WikiProject Spaceflight/Templates could be transcluded on the WP:Spaceflight project page, as it is for WP:Unmanned. This is probably better than merging Human spaceflight, and creating an Unmanned task force, based on the relative sizes of their talk page archives. If WP:Unmanned does get merged, and there is a desire to focus efforts on some specific class of unmanned spacecraft (like Progress (spacecraft), for example), then maybe the best solution is to create a specific "working group" subpage, as I suggested above.

Thoughts on this proposal? Mlm42 (talk) 03:14, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

I strongly disagree with the proposal to merge Unmanned into Spaceflight with no task forces. Unmanned articles are in general the most neglected which is precisely why they need a clear presence to get people working on them. Besides, I've tagged nowhere near all Unmanned-related articles and there's already easily enough to justify a separate task force (both HSF and USF are already larger than recommend for a task force). In fact even worse, i'm convinced leaving progress to very narrowly-focused "working groups" would create a popularity-bias in articles which are worked on and thus quality. What does that do for the vast amount of commercial satellite articles, which appear to me to be the most neglected of all?
That being said I too have not been comfortable with the Manned/Unmanned dichotomy, even under the present system. Perhaps we could rethink this somehow, but I think all the major subsets of Unmanned spaceflight should at least be represented in such a scheme. Don't know why Manned necessarily has to be monolithic either, I'm sure a "Space stations" task force could be split off from it for example with the remainder being more appropriately renamed. As mentioned above I've noticed a bit of distinction in the needs of Unmanned articles on things like communications satellites and the more science-related ones(astronomy/space probes etc), so perhaps split there? From the numbers I think there's easily enough work to justify both.
I'm concerned about how this "Space exploration" task force suggested will work in practise and if it makes sense. How would it work, what will it cover and more importantly what will happen to the rest that isn't covered?
(Sorry for the length!) ChiZeroOne (talk) 04:43, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm also not a fan of this structure - personally I would have thought that the only task forces we need (at least to start with, whilst we gather more editors) are HSF and USF. I fail to see the point of this 'space exploration' business, too - the projects' scope, I believe, would be best described as something along the lines of 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. I can't see any need for a space exploration taskforce in this. As for an ESA taskforce, I was presuming that would be absorbed entirely into WP:SPACEFLIGHT, like TSF. I also note in passing that there was an attempt to form a WP:NASA last year, and there are fields for it in the WP:SPACE banner template, so we should probably deal with that too. Meanwhile, once we've sorted out all the tasks in the to-do list, and have some more members, I would suggest that point would be a good one to start discussing more taskforces. Colds7ream (talk) 11:42, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Yeah while I don't think it's a system we should retain indefinitely, to begin with it might make sense to retain USF and HSF or equivalents to ensure we have (all little) more specific areas to cover the articles while in transition. Let's not run before we can walk. Eventually however as the project picks-up after the redesign and recruitment drive then it may make sense to break up these two large task forces into a variety of more specific subsets, removing the HSF/USF distinction. I propose that any task forces we set up should, depending on their need, be relatively bureaucracy-free with many components shared with the main project, like their talk page for instance. That way we could support more task forces without it stretching resources.
As for ESA and NASA, I hadn't thought about it that way but I suppose a part of Spaceflight could be devoted to these and other Spaceflight organisations without necessarily being a task force, which could raise issues with having multiple banner tags. ChiZeroOne (talk) 16:08, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
You mentioned in the future it might make sense to "break up" the HSF and USF task forces; do you mean replacing them with smaller task forces, or keeping them but having working groups within the task forces? Because I think if we're going to break up these task forces to remove unnecessary bureaucracy, then now is the time to do it, rather than waiting. Mlm42 (talk) 18:07, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes I mean replacing them with more focused task forces, which will in turn blur the divide. As I said before, both HSF's and USF's scopes and number of articles are very large for your average task force. A few task force ideas mentioned already would easily have enough work each, and it stops the situation of seeing HSF/USF as "projects" where all the work should be done and everything covered in their scope. I recognise GW's concerns over splitting editors which is why I see WP:Spaceflight being very much centralised; single membership, single talk page, fairly uniform page design etc. The task forces just provide more specific information regarding particular fields of spaceflight allowing editors to pick out the areas that interest them most. The reason I suggested keeping things the same for now was because there didn't seem to be a lot of enthusiasm for being radical with the new task force structure so I'd rather the present situation than no representation. ChiZeroOne (talk) 19:11, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

I did consider proposing working groups, but I thought that it would be a better idea to get the task forces up and running before forming any working groups, although depending on how active the project proves to be, a system could be established for proposing such groups. That said, I would suggest that ESA could become a working group if its members are unwilling to accept a full merger or abolition, as I think it would be out of place as a full task force here, alongside the others. I'm not sure about abolishing USPACE, since no replacement would be offered for its scope this would probably lead to a dip in coverage - the only way to resolve this would be to change the subdivisions, for example forming task forces for scientific missions, communications satellites, weather satellites, military spacecraft, etc. I am not advocating this approach, it would be an extremely bad idea as it would spread the project far too thinly. I feel that space colonisation should not be retained as a subpage. The reason for retaining TLS in that manner is due to the large number of stylistic guidelines associated with that project, and this is not applicable to the others. The "space exploration" task force was a compromise with those who wanted to put WPSolar under WPSpaceflight to cover planetary missions. My proposal for that also included astronomical missions. I'm not going to lose any sleep if this doesn't happen, but it is better than the alternative which was proposed at the time, and I feel that it would probably be useful for coordinating efforts on such articles with the Solar System and Astronomy projects. Its scope would have to be defined clearly though to exclude ground-based astronomy, non-exploratory spaceflight (including manned LEO missions), and astronomical objects, which are three categories of articles which the former Space Exploration project kept trying to include in its scope. --GW 13:10, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

It doesn't matter much to me about the ESA or Space exploration task forces in my proposal, I just got the impression there was some demand for them; but I guess there isn't, so that's fine. Regarding Space colonization, rather than a subpage, we could just tag it with {{Defunct}} then (as I see has been done to WP:SPACE!)?
My proposal to remove Unmanned Spaceflight clearly didn't go down well! But I really do think it's silly to have both Manned and Unmanned task forces.. because what then is the purpose of having a "Spaceflight" WikiProject? To coordinate efforts between the Manned and Unmanned task forces? The reason I suggested it was because with a Human spaceflight task force, the scope of WP:Spaceflight would essentially be things non-related to Human spaceflight.. which I thought was unmanned spaceflight. It just seems like the scope of an Unmanned task force scope would be way too broad to be an effective task force.
While I agree there are lots of unmanned articles which are neglected, I'm not sure this is a reason to create a task force with a scope nearly as big as the project itself. I think that creating WikiProjects and Task forces should be about organizing editors rather than organizing articles. I also think more task forces for unmanned things (like communications satellites) could be created as demand desires. Mlm42 (talk) 16:38, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Regarding the "Space exploration" proposals, how about something a bit different and more collaboration orientated? How about a workgroup of the main project which hosts a set of collaboration requests from outside editors asking for, for example, Spaceflight editors input on an article under Solar System's remit to flesh out coverage of the Spaceflight aspects of these articles. This could of course work the other way round too. It's a bit more interactive and achieves the goal of keeping a link between articles on Spaceflight and the objects of that spaceflight while not impacting any possible task forces on space probes etc, because they would be doing different things. ChiZeroOne (talk) 22:44, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Another try at the structureEdit

  • WP:Spaceflight
    • Task force: Human spaceflight (renaming the project page and talk page)
    • Task force: Unmanned spaceflight (renaming the project page and talk page)

But I would still prefer Unmanned spaceflight to be merged into the main project, since I feel its scope is too big to form an effective task force. Removing Unmanned spaceflight would be inline with Novus Orator's comment below. Then other projects could be dissolved as follows:

  • Task force ESA -> rename as a working group, or add "Defunct" tag
  • WP:Timeline of spaceflight (rename)-> Subpage of WP:Spaceflight, (possibly called a "working group")
  • WP:Space colonization -> Add "Defunct" tag

Another issue

  • WP:NASA -> "Task force: NASA spaceflight"? or do nothing?

Regarding WP:NASA (in response to this discussion, and this userspace WikiProject), NASA also deals with astronomy topics, like astrobiology, so it wouldn't be quite right to create a NASA task force within WP:Spaceflight, but maybe a "NASA spaceflight" task force? The problem with this is that its scope is such a large proportion of "Spaceflight" that it might not be too effective, so maybe it's best to do nothing here; smaller task forces and working groups can be created later, as the need arises. Mlm42 (talk) 18:45, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

That's not even the biggest problem with NASA. NASA is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, it evolved out of NACA (an aviation agency), and is most definitely a WP:Aviation topic. NASA researches aeronautics, developed area-rule, hypersonic flight, etc. NASA documents aircraft accidents for statistical purposes. (talk) 07:04, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
It might just be better to move WP:NASA under WP:USA, WPUSA is currently also undergoing a restructuring. NASA deals with aviation, astronomy, rocketry topics in addition to space, and is a US government agency, so it most easily fits under WPUSA. (talk) 07:09, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't think we need a NASA task force. If ESA gets a working group then it could have one too, but I don't see much need for them at this stage, and a task force for one agency would be overkill. I would suggest doing nothing for now, and if enough editors are interested, then a working group could be formed in the future. --GW/P 14:27, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
If you want to move NASA under WPUS I am perfectly ok with that. Just let me know and I will add it. --Kumioko (talk) 05:45, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
Just FYI there are about 6000 things (including files, templates, etc) pertaining to NASA of which about 3600 are images. Both seem like a pretty small number considering the topic so it seems to me that there is a lot of room for expansion and improvement on this subject. --Kumioko (talk) 05:52, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
I'd strongly Support the creation of a WikiProject NASA. It's a big enough topic to have its own WP. - The Bushranger One ping only 07:45, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
Would it be a subpage of anything or a top-level project in its own right? Also, if people decide to go ahead with making it, they may want to involve User:Parker1297, the chap who originally suggested it. Colds7ream (talk) 08:55, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
I would strongly oppose a WikiProject. I could see it being a working group, and possibly a task force at the outside, but WPSpaceflight is abolishing subprojects at the moment, and I do not feel that proposing a new one would go down well. --GW 12:47, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
Well if Space wants to eliminate the subprojects they can although I think thats a bad move. As far as Im concerned the status of a wikiproject is determined by 2 things, having a large enough pool of articles to do it and enough editors who ctively maintain it. If it lacks either then it should be a subproject or task force. In this occassion I am not familiar enough with it to tell if the participants are there but my gut tells me there are. As I mentioned before I would be happy with them falling under US and would be happy to discuss that if anyone is interested in doing that. Many of the articles relating to NASA are already tagged US so it would just be a matter of adding a field and then tagging the rest. --Kumioko (talk) 14:09, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
I wouldn't think it would be a subproject, but a project in its own right - as noted elsewhere, NASA/NACA covers aircraft as much as it does spacecraft, and thus pigeonholing it under "space" wouldn't be a particulary workable idea... - The Bushranger One ping only 17:53, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

I'm not at all convinced WikiProject NASA is a good idea. We've just agreed to remove 5 WikiProjects, and I think this will benefit the articles. Adding a WikiProject like this seems like an unnecessary layer of work, and it's not clear how the articles will benefit. Yes "NASA" covers a lot of material, but how much isn't already covered by existing WikiProjects? Between Spaceflight, Aviation, and Astronomy, there's not a whole lot left. I'd guess that when most people think of NASA, they think of Spaceflight.. but I could be wrong. Mlm42 (talk) 18:19, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

I'm in agreement with GW and Mlm here - when I said above that the NASA project should be 'dealt with', I effectively meant 'deleted' - we have so many superfluous projects! The scope of a NASA project is already dealt with by others, so is completely unnecessary, but then again we seem to have an endemic problem with pointless projects - take a look at Wikipedia:WikiProject eclipses, for instance. Why is this even in existence? It has one member, and if ever there were a definition of what a task force should be dealing with, surely this is it? We're supposed to be uniting like-minded editors and reducing inefficiency with these WikiProjects, not splitting them and making more work for ourselves, for pity's sake! Colds7ream (talk) 18:34, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
There's a WikiProject Eclipses? Is that an official wikiproject, or something that was created but not proposed to the WikiProject Council? There seems to be only two members. In any case, that should be an astronomy project... eclipses/transits/occultations are astronomy. (talk) 06:36, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
I suspect the latter - personally I feel there's a need for much greater regulation of WikiProject creations. In other news, after a week or so, WikiProject Moon has 7 members active out of 27, which I suppose is OK, but Mars has 1 active out of 27, so that's another one that can probably go. Colds7ream (talk) 07:52, 9 December 2010 (UTC)


Would there be any interest in a WPAEROSPACE parent project? This could supercede the current WP:AVIATION (which primarily covers Aircraft, airlines and airports), and possible ass SPACEFLIGHT and WP:ROCKETS. All of these subjects overlap to some degree, and it might be useful to have a coordinating parent project, as these projects operate failry indepent of each other. Additionally, we have no single projecft for aerospace manufacturers, which make products afftecting WPAIR, SPACEFLIGHT, and WPZROCKETS. which might be useful to have too. This is just my suggestion at this point - I'm "canvassing" on my own for any interest. Thanks. - BilCat (talk) 18:30, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

  • This came up a while back when WP:ROCKETRY was deparented from spaceflight, I think you were involved in that discussion as well. There was a mixed response to the idea, and very few people showed interest in the discussion. If the idea were to be revived I'm not sure whether the best approach would be renaming Aviation, or creating a new project above it. I'm also concerned that putting the space projects straight into the current structure of aviation/aerospace projects may be a bad idea as we would have to adopt standards set with aircraft, not spacecraft, in mind. Since we have far fewer editors than they have, it could also result in difficulties getting this project's position across in project-wide discussions, as we would have far less representation than aircraft. I think that also having WPSpace as a coordinating project proved ineffective, and it would be a good idea to see if the project can function independently for a while. That said, I support the idea in principle, and if the doubts and concerns can be overcome then it could be beneficial to both the space and aviation projects. --GW 18:58, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I did bring it up then. I still think the idea has merit, which is why I'm raising it again. WPAVIATON as a parent doesn't dictate page content to its daughter project, so Spaceflight and rocket would be free to have their own styles if they joined the parent. However, it would give a single place to discuss overlaps, such as is possible with spaceplanes, etc, along with other issues. If something comes out of this suggestion, even if its not what I'm proposing, that's fine. I know sometimes it takes years for ideas to bear fruit, and sometimes they look nothign like the original proposals! - BilCat (talk) 19:12, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
I think that an emphasis on small Work Groups within the Parent Projects would be helpful for getting articles improved. Currently, both of these WikiProjects cover a huge range of information that would be better served by parsing down into smaller "bits" of 5-10 interested members. It doesn't really matter what we "call" the reorganized "Parent Project". What matters is that the WikiProjects are actually serving their purpose of encouraging editors to get involved on subjects that they are interested in. I think that all of these suggestions are helpful, but I would caution against simply renaming large WikiProjects without working on the essentials...--Novus Orator 07:59, 6 December 2010 (UTC)


I almost missed it, but somebody has proposed a Jupiter WikiProject. The participants in that discussion were not informed of the reorganisation proposals here. I feel that given the trends in the rest of the discussion, the creation of this project may not be consistent with the wider consensus on this issue. --GW 17:10, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

I was aware of the reorganization proposal (as shown by my comment above) prior to proposing that WikiProject. I do not agree that consolidating child projects is a way to encourage editor participation in everything covered by WikiProject Space. From what I have read above the only consensus that exists is that WikiProject Space is getting to large for its own good. Decentralizing the relevant information would have the effect of improving editor morale and increasing the amount of work that actually gets done. I also do not see how it is WikiProject Space's responsibility to monitor whether a tertiary Project develops on a valuable subject.--Novus Orator 04:33, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
I think discussion about the status of WP:Moon, WP:Mars, WP:Jupiter can safely be moved to WP:Solar... on whether they should be converted to task forces or remain as subprojects. (talk) 05:46, 15 December 2010 (UTC)


can someone move the old reorganisation page Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Space/Reorganisation to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Space/2007 Reorganisation to match this page? (and replace Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Space/Reorganisation with a list page to list both discussions) (talk) 05:55, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

  Done Ruslik_Zero 12:10, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't think that was a particularly good idea. All links to this discussion have been made directly, links to the 2007 discussion were made to that page. Disambiguation pages should not be needed for non-article content. --GW 13:18, 19 December 2010 (UTC)