Author Topic: L2 Updated Overview and Q&A  (Read 114535 times)

Online Chris Bergin

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The updated main sign-up and overview/intro page:

The above page should provide all you need, but for an extensive overview, here are three large overview posts:

New promo video for NSF and L2, kindly created by - run by Richard, who is an active member on site.

L2 is now seven main sections:

1) Mission Special Section:
Covers specific mission content, from PRCB baseline presentations, daily NTD/KSC integration level processing coverage, FRR presentation coverage, MMT pre-launch and Flight Day coverage, through to post flight IFA, etc.

2) International Space Station Section:
Operational manuals, Assembly and Robotics Presentations, SSPCB notes, 8th Floors, Russian documentation, Tour videos etc.

3) Russian Space Flight:
Documentation, Photos, Updates and Video on the Russian/Soviet Space Program, from MIR to Buran (four long exclusive videos in Russian), through to the ISS modules and the Russian "ESAS" presentations (55/500mb) on their next generation vehicle.

4) Space Flight L2: Shuttle and current vehicles Section:
Future flight processing and documentation, Previous mission documentation (post RTF), General documentation, Extension studies, Shuttle manuals (SCOMs etc), SSME bibles, SRB/RSRM bibles (master presentations). A lot of the tag cloud content lives there.

5) Constellation To Future Plan Transition Section:
Large amount of Ares and Orion presentations from the beginning to present. COTS/CRS (NASA side), Commercial (EELV). Very much filling up with SD HLV and HLV presentations. Future KSC hardware such as the new ML master sections. Lots more, anything on any future videos is located in there. Includes a good number of videos.

6) Historical Section: From the first days of Cape Canaveral, through to Saturn/Apollo and the early days of the shuttle program. Huge amount of images (400Gb at last estimate). Full Hi Res images from nearly every mission. Orbiter construction in California. Apollo, Gemini and videos. MER reports for every mission. Old Skool vehicles from the days of the Atlantic Missile Range. Too many elements to mention.

7) Video Section:
Home of several full re-entry videos taken from a hand-held camcorder on the flight deck. Every STA training video from all runways from all three primary landing site. MOD flight controller training class videos (really cool). VAB/PAD/OPF tour video. Videos from engineers such as lighting the flare stack. Personal tours of Dryden and inside the SCAs. Four very long and unreleased Buran videos. SRB re-entry video from recovery ship etc, Covers lots of vehicles over lots of years.
Some L2 video samples:

Everything on L2 is not available on ANY other site. On the rare occasions we do break news/images etc, and a few weeks later NASA decide to release them publicly, we move it off L2.

Each section has a request (Shopping List) form, which our sources (we have a lot of those) use to send us further L2 information as per request. You can also post further questions on the information in L2 due to the forum format. One of the major strengths of L2 is the large amount of actual space industry on L2 who are happy to answer questions/elaborate on what is contained in there, especially during missions.

Six main sections are splintered off into over a 100 specific clickable topic areas, accessed via the L2 tag cloud, allowing for a menu of content from mission specific to vehicle specific and even hardware specific. See second post for a walkthrough.

The entire database is well over 4,500gbs in size and over four years of building – containing information that ranges from the present, to the future, and as far back as the start of the space program. It's updated literally daily with new content.

Your subscription warrants your use of our servers for unlimited downloading, in turn allowing the revenue gained from L2 subscriptions to be used to improve the site, keep the majority of the site and news as free access, and playing a part in helping’s present and future stability.

All L2 revenue is used solely on paying the large costs of hosting such a massive site. Nobody takes a salary from NSF, we all have other 'day jobs'. We're not asking for donations in return for a thank you, we're thanking you by giving you access to easily best subscription area related to space, and arguably on any subject given the level and range of content.

Nothing on L2 is ITAR, Export Control or Proprietary.

Previous overview thread - which has additional information and background:

Previous L2 Promo video. Thanks to the guys at MaxQ - and still relevant:

Please feel free to post reviews of L2 if you're a member, or questions if you're thinking of joining.

Two place holders to follow for additional information.

Updated main signup and overview/intro page:

Online Chris Bergin

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Re: L2 Updated Overview and Q&A
« Reply #1 on: 08/12/2010 03:05 PM »

Mainly sticking by our original points, with some modifications. Questions posted into this thread may get re-posted/edited into this post, to save people going through endless posts.

Some obvious ones:

Q) Why do you charge..why a subscription area? I'm American and I pay my taxes so I should get this for free. I'm not paying for anything on the internet!

A) Same as most sites with such costs a lot of money to keep this site up. Advertising revenue never cuts it, especially in recent years. All L2 revenue goes into the running of the site (server, database costs etc.) The site is not owned by some faceless company, it's owned by me, and I'm anything but rich, so L2 is a vital revenue stream, which is why we call it "support". Being an L2 member means you are directly supporting the site, but in return you get more than your monies worth!

So you're not "paying to access NASA info" - you're paying to use up our bandwidth on the bulk of the server and databases, and we cover the global space industry to boot.

Bottom line, no L2, no site. I wouldn't be able to afford to keep it going without it, period. Without L2, the rest of the site could not be run at a loss. L2 is literally paying for the news site and the open forum to remain free.

Q) If I am NASA, ULA, USA etc. Is L2 free?

A) Yes, simply mail me from your work address (ensuring you've signed up for a username on the forum). Your e-mail will only be used to confirm you are space industry...and only I will receive it, thus will be confidential. There's no condition of becoming a source attached, as much as it would be welcomed. We do, however, expect you to get actively involved, even if it's just answering the occasional question. Treating the site as read only is not welcomed and a "read only" involvement will result in the assumption of an inactive account <---this only applies to free upgraded space industry.

Amendment: Space industry accounts which have been inactive for a period of time will have their L2 access removed.

If you lose your job in the transition (post-Shuttle etc) you will not lose your free access privilege, providing you adhere to the above.

Q) If I'm media, does that mean I'm banned from L2?

A) No, in fact we have a lot of media in L2 (some of the famous names). The rules of media apply, so there's a conversation involved when joining, but that doesn't take more than one e-mail. The rule applies to accredited news media, not blog sites. You will not be able to use L2 as your source, we will run all acquired content first, and you then can accredit the public article.

Q) How do you get hold of the content for L2?

A) We have a lot of excellent sources, which is one of the most motivating elements of running this site. Every journalist has their sources, the difference with us is we put everything into L2, as it arrives. With other media in L2, that could be deemed as journalistic suicide, but the people I've got to know who cover space flight are a good bunch of people who play by the rules.

Q) Is it a reoccurring payment like other space site subscription services, where I'll get charged each term unless I cancel?

A) No. Your payment is for the term you choice and only that term. With about a week remaining on the term you will receive a resubscription notice, letting you know you are about to come to the end of your term and have the option of making an additional term (discounted for loyalty). If you do not resub, your term will end on time. You will not be charged again.

Q) Ok, I've gone blind. Quick overview of how I join L2 if you please?

A) Make sure you have yourself a username on the forum (we use that to upgrade you). Make the payment via the link on the bottom of the page. I get an e-mail when that's completed, I personally upgrade you into L2 and send you a one page overview of instructions to the e-mail address your payment notification came in.

If there was a problem for whatever reason, I'm a living person not a mailbot, so contact me, I'm here to help.

Graphical overview in the next post.

Online Chris Bergin

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Re: L2 Updated Overview and Q&A
« Reply #2 on: 08/12/2010 03:06 PM »
Joining and accessing L2:

Click here:

That takes you to the main L2 overview page here:

Read through for a one page overview, scroll the the bottom where you will see:

Click Green if you do not have a username registered on the forum to complete that requirement. Then return the L2 page above.

Click Red if you have a username and want to make your payment, see step below.

Click Blue if you need help, by e-mailing me.


By clicking Red to make your payment, you will be taken to the secure pages on Paypal (what Ebay use). The page's appearance may vary depending on browser.

Enter the amount as your term, such as (always US dollars by default) 19.99 for two months on L2. 49.99 for six months. 89.99 for one year. Note TSV Media, LLC is the business account for the site.

Opt to pay via an existing paypal account, or via your debit card or credit card.

I will recieve notification within minutes and will upgrade your registered forum account to access L2. I will then e-mail you notification and a quick overview of the main links to help you navigate - as obvious as it will be the next time you refresh your page as you'll see you have L2 access.

Upon upgrading into L2, you will notice all the L2 sections are open to you. You can click on any of those six main sections, and documentation etc will be presented in the same forum format for ease of use.

Because L2 is so large, we have the tag cloud - which breaks down a 100 or so large areas of content (note this is nothing like the tags you see as a non-L2 member). By clicking "Tags" as an L2 member, you will see:

Each word is clickable, and will take you to a list of content we have on L2 on that subject. For example, let's click "SSME" - "small" word on the Tag cloud, but a sign of how big L2 is because this runs for three pages lengths. Here's the top end:

Let's scroll down the list to:
Space Shuttle Main Engine Orientation Presentation (105 pages) - and click it. That'll take you through to:

Click, or "save as" the attachment, depending on your browser to download the PDF, which is yours to keep, even after your L2 membership expires. Only rule is not to upload content externally, for obvious reasons. There's a couple of screenshots of that presentation, here: by the way.

Offline AndrewSTS

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Re: L2 Updated Overview and Q&A
« Reply #3 on: 08/12/2010 03:33 PM »
And even all that above doesn't cover it :D

L2 totally rocks and on many levels and I hadn't thought I was helping the site at the same time by being a member. Win, win.

Offline Jason Davies

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Re: L2 Updated Overview and Q&A
« Reply #4 on: 08/12/2010 03:49 PM »
Agree with the above. Super impressive service. Simple thing the non-L2 members need to ask themselves is if they enjoy the news articles because they get the news out first, imagine what it's like on L2 where those articles have been based on. Really is stunning when you get a presentation from a meeting they are having that same day, ask a question and sometimes a guy at that meeting then answers the question!

Very impressed by how it's already got a lot on the future vehicles too. The HLV coverage is amazing.

Offline DaveJSC

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Re: L2 Updated Overview and Q&A
« Reply #5 on: 08/12/2010 05:19 PM »
Going to be a lot of repeat posts on here, but L2 is awesome, even for those who work in the industry, as it's a very wide focus area.

The new video is well produced. Like the ending with NEO and Mars and the flag!
« Last Edit: 08/12/2010 05:19 PM by DaveJSC »

Offline Longhorn John

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Re: L2 Updated Overview and Q&A
« Reply #6 on: 08/12/2010 10:43 PM »
I like the updated main L2 page. How much is on L2 is better shown in the tag graphic, because it's far more than six sections, it's huge, and great.

Offline Seattle Dave

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Re: L2 Updated Overview and Q&A
« Reply #7 on: 08/13/2010 02:12 AM »
Nice video, although I think even the promo videos and the large three posts above do L2 justice. It's near-impossible to describe how deep the content base is.

Excellent value for money and it's gone to the upkeep of the site. The servers have been very solid for a long time now. Used to be rough during launches and events in the early days. Hope those who aren't on L2 realize that and support NSF.

Offline ChrisGebhardt

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Re: L2 Updated Overview and Q&A
« Reply #8 on: 08/13/2010 06:19 AM »
I feel the best way to describe L2 is to relate my first encounter with this amazing part of  As a resident of Central Florida and the Space Coast my entire life, the space program has obviously been an intricately important of my life. After first discovering in June 2007, I was reluctant to "pay" for a portion of the site that the free news articles were based off of.

After a year’s time, I had heard nothing but positive and enthusiastic reviews from forum members about L2 and the wealth of information contained there; so I broke down and signed up for the lowest payment option possible -- two months for $19.99. I signed up at 12 noon and immediately started looking through the various L2 threads. The next thing I knew it was 11p.m. -- 11 hours later. So after making a late-night food run to appease my angry stomach I went right back to L2 and before I knew it, it was 3a.m. Needless to day, I was hooked on L2 and immediately went back and upgraded my membership to a full year’s subscription -- a decision I have not regretted for a single nano-second.

On a more personal level, had I not signed up for L2, I would not have had the privilege and honor of working with Chris Bergin and the wonderful MaxQ team for the last two and half years and I would not have had the career opportunities that are now open to me. Is L2 worth it? In my opinion the answer to that question is a resounding YES. However, like all things in life, only you can answer that question for yourself.

L2 is there for those who want that more in-depth look at the NASA world. Will you understand every single engineering document you come across on L2? No. I don’t understand some of them. But therein lies the beauty of If you don’t understand something, ask. No one will jump down your throat or tell you you’re asking a stupid question. On the contrary, we’re a community that will answer your specific question and point you toward documents in the massive L2 database that will help you understand some of the more complex engineering documents. And you never, ever have to worry about running out of things to read on L2. There is no such thing as a “slow news day” here on L2.

As Chris Bergin has said, membership is operational and ALL the subscription money GOES TOWARD SERVER COSTS AND SITE MAINTAINCE. I don’t get paid to write for this site or represent NSF at KSC media events and mission briefings. I do everything I do for NSF because I believe in this site and its mission.

So sign up and see what L2 is all about. If you’re not sure about paying a full year’s subscription, do what I did and sign up for the lowest option: two months for a total of $19.99. That is an incredible offer. That’s access to more information than you could even imagine for only $0.32 a day!
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Offline DavisSTS

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Re: L2 Updated Overview and Q&A
« Reply #9 on: 08/13/2010 04:58 PM »
I signed up at 12 noon and immediately started looking through the various L2 threads. The next thing I knew it was 11p.m. -- 11 hours later. So after making a late-night food run to appease my angry stomach I went right back to L2 and before I knew it, it was 3a.m.

Ha! Know that feeling well! ;D

How about a sticky thread over each forum section with a promo overview of what content we have on things like the Russian space program, SpaceX and commercial, etc? I reckon a lot of people think it's just Shuttle, when it's not.

Offline Jester

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Re: L2 Updated Overview and Q&A
« Reply #10 on: 08/13/2010 08:37 PM »
L2 you ask ?

two words:

Get It.

'nuf said....and yes "even" me, your humble ESA source, uses it...and not just for posting stuff either ;)

Now, why are you still reading this ? go get it already !

Offline Aobrien

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Re: L2 Updated Overview and Q&A
« Reply #11 on: 08/14/2010 03:27 AM »
I first got L2 a little over 2 years ago and when I started to use it right away I went into overload from just so much information. To this day there are still a lot of materials I have yet to look at that have been there since I registered and they keep adding more and more.

Now L2 has become part of my daily routine. I wake up before school and check the detailed NTD reports for each vehicle and then through my day I periodically check for updates on any events happening. When I have free time I just go and explore L2.

I can tell you that I will continue to be an L2 member forever. And I will never think twice about it.

L2 is mind blowing and it will never cease to amaze you.
You are really missing out on what this site has to offer until you subscribe to L2!

So what are you waiting for?!
NSF L2=The Ultimate Space Passport

Online Chris Bergin

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Re: L2 Updated Overview and Q&A
« Reply #12 on: 08/16/2010 03:26 PM »
Very much appreciate the positive posts above :)

How about a sticky thread over each forum section with a promo overview of what content we have on things like the Russian space program, SpaceX and commercial, etc? I reckon a lot of people think it's just Shuttle, when it's not.

Might do, but this was more about revamping the thread with more updated overview.
You can overdo the 'advertisement' of what L2 is, because it's very important the news site and the forum are top class and at the top of their game regardless of L2, despite the fact the news site is driven by some of the L2 content we acquire. We always aim to have people visit this site and think it rocks without ever thinking about L2, as opposed to them thinking "aww, I wish L2 was free, I'm being shortchanged here". I'd understand that if the news site was weak and based on press releases. The news site benefits from L2, as opposed to advertising it. Everyone wins.
Of course, L2 is above and beyond, and it has to always be so, in order for that 'extra level'. We're not running a donation advert in return for keeping the open parts of the site free. We're not running L2 to pay for me to go out and get myself some fancy laptops. L2 revenue is paying for the site's costs (servers etc) for all of the site. It really boils down to that.
I'm going off on a tangent, but if you enjoy the site, and you can afford it, support it! L2 is the way to do that, and you get to access to tons of cool stuff in return, along with my personal gratitude and the gratitude of everyone else on this site by proxy, as you've contributed to there being a healthy and improving site to visit. If you can't afford it, but enjoy the site, you're just as welcome here, tell your friends, spread the word.
Make no mistake about it, this site would be dead if it wasn't for the early L2 members, as my self funding had exhausted my overdraft (we grew too fast). This site would still be on patchy servers and bandwidth constraints if it wasn't for the growth of our L2 membership. And this site would be seriously considering shutting down the open forum if it wasn't for the continued loyalty of what is a stunning 90 percent resub level of our L2 membership.
Hopefully that addresses a few misconceptions that are likely to be out there.

Online MP99

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Re: L2 Updated Overview and Q&A
« Reply #13 on: 08/16/2010 06:03 PM »
And this site would be seriously considering shutting down the open forum if it wasn't for the continued loyalty of what is a stunning 90 percent resub level of our L2 membership.

...and there's your key L2 stat:- 90% retention rate is very impressive. Wow! TBH, I'd have thought that should be highlighted in the "updated overview" post #1.

I'm definitely in that 90% - have to add my vote to the positive reports above. I really love L2.

cheers, Martin

Offline padrat

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Re: L2 Updated Overview and Q&A
« Reply #14 on: 08/17/2010 12:16 AM »
Heck, I come here myself to get news and info. Because 80-90 percent of the time I find it here well before my, um, "chain of command"
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