Reorganization RFD

Date: 5 Oct 1993 10:23:08 -0400
From: George William Herbert 
Subject: RFD: Reorganization of space newsgroups
Newsgroups: news.announce.newgroups,news.groups,,,,rec.aviation.misc,sci.geo.geology,sci.geo.meteorology,alt.sci.planetary,sci.astro,sci.astro.planetarium,

Request for Discussion on reorganizing the and related

george william herbert (email:

An alternative RFD was recently proposed to simply create
in an unmoderated state.  It is my feeling that the alternative RFD
did not represent the consensus (as it was) of the discussion group
which has been talking about a reorganization for several weeks.
While a number of issues remain unresolved and debated from the
email discussion (the moderation status of the groups, primarily),
a majority of those involved agreed that the below proposal was
the way to proceed.
	The accusations that I or anyone else are trying by means
of this proposal to censor discussions by in particular Nick Sazbo
or Jim Bowery are inaccurate.  They both have been involved in the
email discussion about the reorganization proposal.  Concerns that
they have voiced there about being censored were listened to, which
have led to some significant changes from the origional format
of the proposed reorganization and ongoing discussions about a
moderator policy for those moderated groups which will be fair.

What: reorganize the space-oriented newsgroups

Why: is strangling under its own bandwidth.  It has long since
passed the 2,000 message per month point (60 per day), and this is quite
more than is generally considered "lots" in a newsgroup.  A secondary
reason is that there have been many long-running "animated discussions"
which tend to overwhelm the group as a whole, though they are very 
topic specific.  This proposal is intended to break up the
newsgroup into a set of more specific topical newsgroups.  By doing so,
readers will be able to avoid long meandering flamewars in areas
they are not interested in.

The group changes proposed are:
* Leave as is (moderated)
* Leave as is
* Rename alt.sci.planetary and optionally moderate it
* Remove, creating in its place...
* Create (moderated)
* Create (moderated)
* Create (moderated)
* Create (moderated)
* Create 

The individual group charter summaries (proposed) are:
----- [ex-alt.sci.planetary] (moderated?)
	Discussions related to technical issues in planetary science, 
	planetary science space missions, techniques, goals, and 
	information about the planets themselves. (moderated)
	For the discussion of technical issues related to
	space launch vehicles, current, future/proposed, 
	and past, and space propulsion in general (including 
	upper/transfer stage design, alternative propulsion (ion,
	solar sail, laser-lightsail, etc.)).  Policy issues
	not directly tied to technical issues are inappropriate.
	DC-X, other SSTO, NASP, existing launch vehicles are. (moderated)
	For discussing technical and science issues about space
	stations in general, and Mir and Freedom/Mir2/whatever
	in particular.  Space station design, engineering,
	operations, science goals and methods on space stations.
	Policy issues not directly tied to technical issues
	are inappropriate. (moderated)
	For discussing non-planetary space science, including 
	technical issues in space astronomy, space science in
	general, stellar science (ours and others) etc.  Emphasis on
	doing science in space, not on the subjects of the science:
	sci.astro will remain as the appropriate group for
	astronomy per se. (moderated)
	Discussions related to developing space and space resources.
	Technical and limited policy issues related to the settlement
	of space, development of space resources, commercial
	uses of space (existing and future), etc. 
	Policy issues not directly related to technical issues in
	any space field, including government policies, budget priorities,
	mission type priorities, goals of space programs, the role of
	governments and space agencies in developing space, etc.

Unresolved/sticky issues:
* remaining sufficiently distinct from sci.astro
* mail gateways and fidonet (being resolved)
* who will moderate (gwh willing to handle at least some)

This proposal has already been discussed among a small group
of those interested and involved in (Pat) (Gary Coffman) (Allen W. Sherzer) (Nick Szabo) (Dale Amon) (Sarah Yoffa) (Fred J. McCall  575-5185) (Ken Jenks) (Warren Edward Kenyon) (Josh Hopkins)
GLANDIS@LERC.NASA.GOV (Geoffrey A. Landis) (David Anderman) (Jim Bowery) (Phil G. Fraering) (Matthew DeLuca) (Henry Vanderbilt) (Herman Rubin) (Paul Dietz) (Jon Leech) (Henry Spencer) (George William Herbert)
baalke@kelvin.Jpl.Nasa.Gov (Ron Baalke) (Peter Yee)
HIGGINS@FNALV.FNAL.GOV (Bill Higgins) (Gene Miya)
Mark.Maimone@A.GP.CS.CMU.EDU (Mark Maimone) (Steve Abrams) (Alwin Bleik)

Thanks to Henry in particular and the rest of the list in general for
significant contributions to the set of proposed new groups.

-george william herbert
Retro Aerospace