Template talk:Solar System probes

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Geocentric Solar telescopes

The template currently includes Solar Dynamics Observatory, which is a geocentric heliophysics mission. All other spacecrafts listed in the Solar science section are either in heliocentric orbit or at Lagrangian points. If we include SDO, the other Earth-based sun observing satellites like IRIS and Hinode, must all be added. Not to forget Earth orbiting planetary telescopes such as Hisaki, and the Hubble (as it has conducted numerous observations of Solar System objects).

To avoid this template from getting overcrowded, I suggest that only deep space missions (including Lunar and Lagrangian missions) be included in this template. Kind regards, Hms1103 (talk) 16:38, 28 March 2018 (UTC)

Inclusion criteria

There's a fair bit of cross-listing with Template:Space observatories and no real consistent approach to spacecraft sent to places like the Lagrangian points and other exotic orbits (consider jumbled treatment of TESS vs DSCOVR vs STEREO), so I'm going to put forward some guidelines on what goes where:

  • Space Probes = spacecraft whose mission is primarily to travel into proximity of an object to conduct observations
  • Space Observatories = spacecraft whose mission is primarily to conduct observations of objects remotely or other phenomena (eg solar wind), often from LEO but also potentially from another point in space not in particular proximity to the target that offers environmental advantages (eg Solar orbits, halo orbits, Lissajous orbits etc.)
    • Garden-variety Earth observation satellites in conventional orbits are not Space Observatories, but those that observe the Earth or Earth-Space interactions from somewhere like L1 are. You can't send a probe to Earth because, well, we're there.

Based on this definitional divide, I'm kicking ACE, DSCOVR, SOHO, STEREO, Wind, Gaia, and THEMIS out to Template:Space observatories unless they're there already. And I'm cutting SolO from the latter.

Happy to discuss further, just being bold to start -- I realize this is one of these fun classification debates where there often many perspectives. The Tom (talk) 01:03, 8 March 2020 (UTC)

A more specific criteria for the Space Probes could be spacecraft that conducts observations on site, or in situ. That way, potential irregularities such as an astronomical telescope on the Moon's surface will be categorized in Template:Space observatories instead of being treated as a lunar probe. That being said, STEREO studies the Sun from angles that are impossible to be seen from Earth, like the far side[1], so in that regard STEREO's nature is more of a deep space probe rather than a space observatory. Not to forget, it also searched for nearby asteroids during its brief visit to the SE-L4[2], Kind regards, Hms1103 (talk) 17:11, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
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