Author Topic: New NSF Launch Calendar Options  (Read 3363 times)

Online Chris Bergin

New NSF Launch Calendar Options
« on: 09/26/2017 01:26 PM »
Per the new site we're building:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43729.0

We're going to work on a new launch calendar to track upcoming global launches.

The current system we have takes advantage of the SMF Forum Calendar, but that's just to get us by.
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=calendar

We also have the big master threads as you will have seen for long term schedule outlook.
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=15134.140

We'll still have the latter, as it allows discussion and updates, but Mark is looking for ideas on how a new calendar that works on the news site and forum could and should look and function. So this thread is to ask for community advise/wishes.

Fire away.

Offline gongora

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Re: New NSF Launch Calendar Options
« Reply #1 on: 09/26/2017 01:41 PM »
One decision that would need to be made is whether you actually want it shown on a calendar or show it as a list (or both).  The calendar can be nice for near-term launches but quickly becomes unwieldy as you go farther out (you wind up with 10 launches listed next April 1 for all the "April 2018" and "Q2 2018" launches.

Offline NSF Webmaster

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Re: New NSF Launch Calendar Options
« Reply #2 on: 09/26/2017 01:57 PM »
One decision that would need to be made is whether you actually want it shown on a calendar or show it as a list (or both).  The calendar can be nice for near-term launches but quickly becomes unwieldy as you go farther out (you wind up with 10 launches listed next April 1 for all the "April 2018" and "Q2 2018" launches.

Personally I like a list better for these kinds of events. Having a calendar (per month) with only a couple of entries is a waste of screen space and not easy to read imo.


Offline leetdan

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Re: New NSF Launch Calendar Options
« Reply #3 on: 09/26/2017 02:03 PM »
How about a small 'Next 5 launches' list, worldwide by default, with an inline dropdown to filter by a specific country or launch site?

Offline gongora

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Re: New NSF Launch Calendar Options
« Reply #4 on: 09/26/2017 02:08 PM »
One decision that would need to be made is whether you actually want it shown on a calendar or show it as a list (or both).  The calendar can be nice for near-term launches but quickly becomes unwieldy as you go farther out (you wind up with 10 launches listed next April 1 for all the "April 2018" and "Q2 2018" launches.

Personally I like a list better for these kinds of events. Having a calendar (per month) with only a couple of entries is a waste of screen space and not easy to read imo.

If we did a list would it be in HTML instead of SMF?  HTML would greatly increase the formatting flexibility. 

Online cppetrie

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Re: New NSF Launch Calendar Options
« Reply #5 on: 09/26/2017 02:15 PM »
Is the possibility of publishing and maintaining a calendar that can be subscribed to under consideration. I’m a fan of these. They show up in my phone calendar and can prompt reminders of an upcoming launch so you never miss one because you forgot. It also gets auto updated as things move. I use these to add game times for my favorite MLB and NHL teams. My son’s Boy Scout Troop website published one as well for Troop activities. To avoid the issues of it filling up with loads of launches that don’t have specific dates you could just not add a launch to the calendar until it has a tentative date. Things that are non-specific like Q2/3018 wouldn’t be added until they give a more specific date. Just a thought.

Offline NSF Webmaster

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Re: New NSF Launch Calendar Options
« Reply #6 on: 09/26/2017 02:17 PM »

If we did a list would it be in HTML instead of SMF?  HTML would greatly increase the formatting flexibility. 

Yes, the idea is to create a new 'event schedule' so don't think of the limits in SMF, just discuss what we want in it (which data / format) and how we want it to appear on the site :)

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

Re: New NSF Launch Calendar Options
« Reply #7 on: 09/26/2017 02:18 PM »
Re-posting my idea some months ago - it might be too complicated to code but maybe this can work?  ;)

I have been pondering on a dedicated page here showing an airport/train station display board type timetable for every spaceflight related event. The biggest part would be the "Departures" sections for all launches - Date and time (with automatic conversion to your local time by sensing your computer settings; if a launch has a defined window, the start of window is listed), LSPs in place of airlines, payloads and rocket variant in place of flight number, planned orbit in place of destinations, launch site in place of gate number, and of course a status section (*) complete with red/yellow/green lights.  ;) This should work with every launch, unless someone like to sneak onto the runway (you know which nation always like to do this  ;))

(*) Departed 22:55/ Scrubbed/ Expected 18:50/ Delayed/ Please contact staff etc.

You may also add an "Arrivals" section for everything coming back to Earth, from ISS crews to Dragons to asteroid sample deliveries; an "Arrival to other stops" section for ISS arrivals to Mars landings; a "Hopping flights" section for sub-orbital flights; and maybe an "Events" section for everything from EVAs to Mr. Musk's next talk.  ;)

I can help with the updating when this page is up. 8)

Otherwise, a simpler list will do - though I hope some kind of automatic time zone detection function can be added such that it will show the launch time in my own time zone. :)

Also, I would like to volunteer for managing the list too (I had past experience with managing the Wikipedia launch list for some years).
;)
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Offline gongora

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Re: New NSF Launch Calendar Options
« Reply #8 on: 09/26/2017 02:36 PM »
How about a small 'Next 5 launches' list, worldwide by default, with an inline dropdown to filter by a specific country or launch site?

I think it would be nice to have a global 'Next 5 Launches' on the main page, and then have a list that allows filtering on a separate page.

Offline gongora

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Re: New NSF Launch Calendar Options
« Reply #9 on: 09/26/2017 02:39 PM »
I hope some kind of automatic time zone detection function can be added such that it will show the launch time in my own time zone. :)

This would be a great feature.

Offline Martin FL

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Re: New NSF Launch Calendar Options
« Reply #10 on: 09/26/2017 02:41 PM »
Next five and linked to the forum update thread. So people see the next five and can click on any one of them to go to the thread.

Offline gongora

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Re: New NSF Launch Calendar Options
« Reply #11 on: 09/26/2017 02:41 PM »
Yes, the idea is to create a new 'event schedule' so don't think of the limits in SMF, just discuss what we want in it (which data / format) and how we want it to appear on the site :)

So if it's an 'event schedule' will there also be the possibility of showing major speeches/press conferences/interviews that are scheduled, or are we restricting it to launches?

Online mtakala24

Re: New NSF Launch Calendar Options
« Reply #12 on: 09/26/2017 03:23 PM »
We had an experiment on using google calendar a few years ago, but couldn't find it right now.

Offline JasonAW3

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Re: New NSF Launch Calendar Options
« Reply #13 on: 09/26/2017 03:37 PM »
Would it be possible to set up an automated system that creates a month long list on the main page while also allows a separate link to an actual calendar page, giving not just the dates but days of the week as to when flights are to launch, land, rendezvous, etc?

It should be possible to set up one calendar page to enter the data, and have the list automatically generated on the main page and in a clickable calendar.  The clickable dates on the calendar could also be linked to articles concerning up coming events as well.
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Online Lar

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Re: New NSF Launch Calendar Options
« Reply #14 on: 09/26/2017 05:09 PM »
Ideally I want a list AND a calendar that are driven by some underlying database so they stay in synch.

I want to filter by the following: (meaning the underlying data source should have all this data)... and I want to be able to filter on more than one thing at a time so I can slice and dice as I like.
- country of launch
- country of booster and S2 return
- country of customer
- country of launch provider
- major launch sites (so show me only Vandy or only Plesetsk (sp) )
- type of launch (sun sync, geo, leo, beo, other)
- launch vehicle type (so show me only Atlas launches and then let me narrow to just 401)
- expendable vs reusable
- land vs sea launch
- if there are vehicle serial/sequence numbers, include them.
- If the vehicle was a reused vehicle, give a link to the most recent past launch for that vehicle component that displays in calendar or list view (this may be different for the two side boosters of an FH, or for the S2 of a (future) launcher than the center or only S1)

For past launches
- launch success/failure
- booster, S2 recovery success/failure
- fairing recovery success/failure
- Is the payload still active?

I also want to perform statistical analysis... how many launches from Plesetsk were failures? How many boosters were recovered as a percentage of attempts for Vandy launches vs Kwajalien, etc?
 Each launch should have links that take me to the specific discussion/update threads if they exist as well as links to the vehicle threads if it/they exists (to the latest one if there are more than one) and to the launch provider and site threads if they exist.

The maintenance mechanism should not depend on a single person, and should allow for reporting issues (linked to wrong launch site, for example) easily

That's a giant list but thrown out there to get people thinking... no way can we actually do all this I expect.
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Offline russianhalo117

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Re: New NSF Launch Calendar Options
« Reply #15 on: 09/26/2017 06:02 PM »
Ideally I want a list AND a calendar that are driven by some underlying database so they stay in synch.

I want to filter by the following: (meaning the underlying data source should have all this data)... and I want to be able to filter on more than one thing at a time so I can slice and dice as I like.
- country of launch
- country of booster and S2 return
- country of customer
- country of launch provider
- major launch sites (so show me only Vandy or only Plesetsk (sp) )
- type of launch (sun sync, geo, leo, beo, other)
- launch vehicle type (so show me only Atlas launches and then let me narrow to just 401)
- expendable vs reusable
- land vs sea launch
- if there are vehicle serial/sequence numbers, include them.
- If the vehicle was a reused vehicle, give a link to the most recent past launch for that vehicle component that displays in calendar or list view (this may be different for the two side boosters of an FH, or for the S2 of a (future) launcher than the center or only S1)

For past launches
- launch success/failure
- booster, S2 recovery success/failure
- fairing recovery success/failure
- Is the payload still active?

I also want to perform statistical analysis... how many launches from Plesetsk were failures? How many boosters were recovered as a percentage of attempts for Vandy launches vs Kwajalien, etc?
 Each launch should have links that take me to the specific discussion/update threads if they exist as well as links to the vehicle threads if it/they exists (to the latest one if there are more than one) and to the launch provider and site threads if they exist.

The maintenance mechanism should not depend on a single person, and should allow for reporting issues (linked to wrong launch site, for example) easily

That's a giant list but thrown out there to get people thinking... no way can we actually do all this I expect.
So like consolidated launch schedule or like Russian Launch Schedule??

Online Lar

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Re: New NSF Launch Calendar Options
« Reply #16 on: 09/26/2017 06:06 PM »
With an underlying queryable database. Not just a forum post.

(as I told someone offline "never ask an architect for requirements" ... unless you want pie in the sky)
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Offline Tomness

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Re: New NSF Launch Calendar Options
« Reply #17 on: 09/26/2017 06:16 PM »
Would the possibly of using Launch Library... which is probably run by some of the the members here be useful for the database or you feel your archive is probably more accurate?

Offline JasonAW3

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Re: New NSF Launch Calendar Options
« Reply #18 on: 09/26/2017 06:17 PM »
With an underlying queryable database. Not just a forum post.

(as I told someone offline "never ask an architect for requirements" ... unless you want pie in the sky)

Seems straight forward enough.

      If linking to related articles, all the needed data could be embedded in the articles in question.
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Offline gongora

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Re: New NSF Launch Calendar Options
« Reply #19 on: 09/26/2017 06:23 PM »
Ideally I want a list AND a calendar that are driven by some underlying database so they stay in synch.

...

That's a giant list but thrown out there to get people thinking... no way can we actually do all this I expect.

For Country of Origin for vehicle, launch provider, customer, etc. we might need to support multiple values for each one?  Payloads for a launch can be from many countries (and even a single GEO sat is often co-owned by two companies).  Even the launch provider can be a little vague, I don't think it would be correct to only show the OneWeb Soyuz launches from Baikonur under Arianespace.  There's also that one company founded and run from New Zealand but it's technically American ...

Some of the filtering and analysis fields you mentioned are just not stuff we track, and would require someone (or a bunch of someones) to gather/organize more data than we currently bother with.  For some of it we might be better off just showing links to the sites of Ed/Gunter/Jonathan/Wikipedia/etc.

For the linking you mentioned, I don't think linking to the last use of a reusable vehicle really makes much sense.  If you want to find previous uses maybe make the vehicle ID a hyperlink and allow clicking it to bring up a list of past launches for that vehicle (or be able to bring up a detail page for each calendar entry where that would automatically be displayed.)

For article/thread linking, is something like what we've been doing in the SpaceX section for the last year on the right track?  The SpaceX manifest links to the discussion thread for the mission, and the top of the discussion thread links to other NSF threads and articles about the mission.  I haven't heard any feedback on whether anyone finds that useful or not.

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