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Proposal: Aviation and Aerospace, Space Exploration

There is some overlap between Aviation and Aerospace and Space Exploration.

Definition of Aviation and Aerospace:

Proposed Q&A site for pilots, ATCs, mechanics, aero and astro-engineers, students and enthusiasts.

Definition of Space Exploration:

Proposed Q&A site for spacecraft operators, scientists, engineers, and enthusiasts.

In my interpretation, topics that could fit on either site include:

  • Rocket science
  • Design of a satellite
  • Aerodynamics of a re-entry vehicle
  • ...

There might be a risk that, unless the topics are more clearly defined, both sites suffer from the lack of clarity. The overlap is considerable. What criteria define the distinction in the area where both sites overlap?

See also: Boundary between space exploration and astronomy sites

  • 1
    They are so similar in fact, I wonder if they can somehow be merged into the same site? SO has far more dissimilar topics under their umbrella that exist quite well together and with the overlap here maybe we should combine them. – lnafziger Jun 17 '13 at 17:04
  • 1
    Why hadn't I thought of that, and why wasn't this issue raised during the previous stage? Personally I don't see space exploration having a large enough scope to achieve critical mass, but there are some parts of space exploration not really related to aviation and I could well be proved wrong. – Qantas 94 Heavy Jun 18 '13 at 0:19
  • Personally, I didn't notice the Aviation and Aerospace site until it popped up in the hot proposals due to reaching commitment stage. Otherwise I would have raised this question before. – gerrit Jun 18 '13 at 9:21
  • I also think they overlap, mostly around the vehicules topics. Space Exploration goes beyond that "transporation" thing. IMO, "Design of a satellite" would not be a suitable topic for aviation and aerospace. – MaxiWheat Jun 25 '13 at 1:15
  • @MaxiWheat: Note that this is for aerospace, and not aeronautics. This would imply that questions about satellites would be appropriate, even if not originally intended. – lnafziger Jun 27 '13 at 18:58
5

To some extend overlap with other Q&A sites is unavoidable unless you restrict the topic very much to a level that a critical mass is unattainable. Space exploration seems already fairly limited, as by the sound of it earth observation and telecommunication satellites are excluded. Those two cover the vast majority of all space operations, and they would fit within the 'Aerospace' section of Aviation & Aerospace.

The top five example questions in Space Exploration are all aerospace engineering related questions. A well defined set of tags like [space mission design], [space energy systems] and [satellite orbit design] would help to answer them within Aviation & Aerospace

My expectation is that within Aviation & Aerospace the majority of questions will be related to the operational, legal and technical aspects of aviation. Only a relative few (mostly technical) questions will be about the 'space' part of aerospace simply because there are orders of magnitude more people involved in aviation.

Having read the accepted answer to the question about the Boundary between space exploration and astronomy sites, it think it would be difficult to get achieve the critical mass for space exploration, mainly because a lot of ground will be covered by astronomy on the one end of the spectrum and by aerospace on the other end.

  • Telecomm and Earth Observation are not excluded, people just didn't find them as interesting, and didn't ask as many questions about them. But they ARE on topic at Space.SE. – PearsonArtPhoto Jun 25 '13 at 11:46
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While there is a bit of an overlap between the "Aeorspace" part of this proposal and the "Space Exploration," but those overlaps are minor because this site is focused on the many other aspects including all aspects of spacecraft - not just the exploration aspects. Not to mention that this site also focuses on Aviation which is completely unrelated.

If the overlap proves to be a problem at all this site could be limited to just Aviation, but I think a site that includes both Aviation and Aeorspace will have a much larger user group and therefore be more successful.

Besides, a site that includes both can attract the interest of someone for one reason, and then they can get interested in the other topic. So, yes, there is a little bit of an overlap, but it might even be worth it so integrate the "Space Exploration" into the Aviation and Aerospace to make sure the user group is as large as possible.

2

The Space site will include many topics that would also be on topic at Aerospace. Many sites have significant overlaps with each other, and that's okay. Amateur Radio has overlap with EE. Astronomy with Physics, Unix/Linux with System Fault, etc. Overlap is perfectly fine. Given that, what is important is to bring a community together.

I believe the Space Exploration community is already starting to come together. Despite starting after, it has more committers than both Astronomy and Aviation. And while there will be some overlap, there isn't as much as you would think. It also has one of the highest percentage of 200+ committers I've ever seen in a proposal, currently 122/173, or 70%.

Bottom line is, if something manmade goes in to space, or otherwise assists a person to get to space, it is on topic at Space Exploration. Where there is overlap, they can go on either site. I would imagine that questions relating to Aerodynamics and Rockets will find somewhat friendlier people at Avionics, and satellites, etc at Space Exploration. But I don't think we'll really know until both sites are launched.

The very fact that Space Exploration has been considered similar to both Astronomy and Aviation shows that while there overlap, it fits in to a realm of it's own, part science, part engineering, and part operations. I don't think anyone would consider Aviation to cover Astronomy, but Space Exploration fits somewhere in between. If any of these sites has a "failure to launch" problem, then we can discuss what to do to help them grow. And a merge might be in order. But first let's see how they can do independently.

2

There are also overlaps with the Science Fiction and Fantasy StEx, and with the Roleplaying Games site - both have occasional questions related to world-building, space travel, and the space environment.

There have been a couple questions in the last week that would be a perfect fit in Space Exploration.

This is natural.

For an example of how much overlap is tolerable, compare the general Stack Overflow with programmers.

  • I think the overlap with science fiction or rpg is frivolous. – gerrit Jul 16 '13 at 18:55
  • Hardly - Sci-Fi RPGers as a rule want the information to be accurate, or at least plausible. Many of the Sci-Fi fans are asking for real-world information. There's one closed for off-topic at SciFi that's a perfect fit. – aramis Jul 17 '13 at 21:57
  • Ok, perhaps I have a wrong image of Sci-Fi or RPG. – gerrit Jul 17 '13 at 22:02
0

I concur that they should be combined. Ever heard of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration? The U.S. government sees the two as being so close that one body can cover both, so why not us!

I would suggest "aerospace.stackexchange.com" for the combined domain.

  • Downvoter, are you against combining, or just my choice or domains? – Nicholas Shanks Jul 14 '13 at 15:58
  • I didn't downvote, but I'm not sure if I like the name for the combined domain. It might be difficult to come up with a concise, satisfactory name if we do combine the two. – gerrit Jul 15 '13 at 10:37
  • Space Exploration seems to have few users who are interested in the Aviation aspect enough to commit to the Aviation/Aerospace proposal. It seems to have a larger overlap with Astronomy than Aviation, and Astronomy has nothing to do with Aviation. As a result, I don't think a merge is a good idea, at this point in time. – PearsonArtPhoto Jul 15 '13 at 20:34

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