Give the comments in this question Will Kerbal Space Program 2 have Lagrange points, halo orbits, and other 3-body goodies?, I wander what questions related to KSP are on topic.

I propose the following being on topic (everything that has a counterpart in real life space exploration):

  • comparison of orbital mechanics with real life
  • comparison of rocket parts with real life
  • all stuff not implemented in KSP (ignition systems, life support, ...)

and the following off topic (all stuff that is not related to real life space exploration):

  • bug that must be reported to KSP's developers
  • new features in the game (or other roadmap related issues)

I argue the linked question could falls into "new feature added to KSP" and "comparison with real life orbital mechanism" but I fail to see how answer can provide insight about the second topic.

EDIT: Another question (What are the best settings to make KSP more realistic on ps4?) illustrate a case I didn't think about.

  • $\begingroup$ Since you link to a specific question in your first sentence and use it as an example, you should include the specific-question tag. When doing so, it is common courtesy and good operating procedure to leave a link to the meta question under the linked question. I've taken care of both of these for you in this case. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Aug 24 '19 at 17:31
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh I think you fail to understand that I want to define here a clear frontier. The mentioned question is just an example. As an answer I expect list of what is on topic and what is off topic $\endgroup$ – Manu H Aug 25 '19 at 2:35
  • $\begingroup$ Others may "fail to understand" as well, since my question is highlighted in all its glory in the first sentence. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Aug 25 '19 at 2:51
  • $\begingroup$ @uhoh The title is "What question concerning KSP are on topic?" $\endgroup$ – Manu H Aug 25 '19 at 12:11
  • $\begingroup$ Does it really do any harm...? I've seen a grand total of 10 KSP questions. Just tag it KSP and let it ride. $\endgroup$ – Magic Octopus Urn Sep 5 '19 at 14:49
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    $\begingroup$ @magic octopus one of the implications is : at what point do we want to become a KSP support ? No question do any harm, my point is to draw lines between us and KSP support (yes it may be blur) $\endgroup$ – Manu H Sep 5 '19 at 15:49

I'm not fond of forming policy around a single piece of software. If this question is generalized to simulation software, I would say questions about said software should be on topic here insofar as it relates to industry usage of said software. In this case, KSP's primary industry usage is for outreach, so I'm inclined to agree with uhoh that asking about the plausibility of adding certain features that further that outreach should be on topic.


I believe KSP is on-topic. However, asking for predictions of future events (also including future spacecraft and missions) creates issues:

  • Information might not be public at the time the question is asked, making the question unanswerable at that time. In this particular case, we were lucky that the needed information was publicly available.

  • If the information changes, how can we ensure that the answer(s) are updated? Unlike new posts, there is no realistic mechanism to get users to fact-check old posts.

  • If the information changes but answers are not updated, there is no way to take back the votes from those now-incorrect answers.

  • What is to be done with the question once the event actually happens? At the very least, does a comment need to be added that the event happened? How do we ensure this?

I'm not at all saying that future-predicting questions should be off-topic. I would not downvote or vote-to-close close them. However, they should be discouraged for the reasons above, and I would not up-vote them. They're not good questions.

  • $\begingroup$ unless very carefully asked, future-predicting questions tend to invite speculation, and receive opinion-based answers. I downvote them. This is amongst the worse kind of that type of question, where it is asked between the announcement and completion of a project. Be it a computer game or a reusable interplanetary spacecraft, the discussion of it does not belong on a fact based Q&A site -- and despite some clever wording, some of the questions are really just trying to discuss the topic. $\endgroup$ – user20636 Aug 27 '19 at 10:36
  • $\begingroup$ For what it's worth, if a particular future-predicting question is judged to be ill-defined or likely to attract poor or out-of-date answers, the correct close reason is "too broad" not "off topic". I'm not going to bother reopening and closing uhoh's question with that reason, but based on what you're describing here it sounds like it should have been closed with that reason. $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Mod Aug 27 '19 at 11:53
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    $\begingroup$ "Off topic" gets overused for questions that we don't like. It is supposed to be a very well-defined close reason--if the actual subject matter of the question is not within scope of the site, then the "off topic" close reason applies. Using it in cases like this dilutes its meaning. $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Mod Aug 27 '19 at 11:55
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    $\begingroup$ Also, here is the prior guidance on future-oriented questions: space.meta.stackexchange.com/q/600/58 $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Mod Aug 27 '19 at 14:11

Because of the effort to try to close my question quickly, before anyone has a chance to post an answer, I've taken the extraordinary step of posting a first answer to my own question. In the answer I've mentioned that over time there will likely be need for further, updated answers.

In contrast to @ManuH's comment

@uhoh I won't retract my vote. This question is about hypothetic feature in a video game. A more suited question would be "is this feature implemented realistically" (but the feature is not yet implemented). As is, the only link with space exploration is that the video game is about space exploration, and the answer are not at least invited to speak about space exploration (thus, I think this is off topic).

I have shown that an answer to my question as asked can clearly speak about space exploration, orbital mechanics, simulations, and other technical issues.

The problem here is the reflexive reach for the insta-close button rather than having some patience and seeing what may turn up in answers first. We should never try to out-guess what every other user of the site might know, or how they may answer with such confidence that we quickly shut down the question and block other users from having an opportunity to write those answers!

For the specific question, I say leave it open, have a little patience, and let's see how the answers develop. Sometimes it takes a year or more for a question to receive a proper answer, but that has never been a justification to quickly close the question.

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    $\begingroup$ Seems like any reasonably detailed simulation should be on topic even if it's 'for fun'. At least for discussions about how realistic it is, etc. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Aug 24 '19 at 18:14
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    $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble I agree, but the question could have have been rephrased as "is that feature on the roadmap?" (which is a question for the developers, as bugfixes) and not "how realistic is the implementation of this feature?" $\endgroup$ – Manu H Aug 25 '19 at 2:33
  • $\begingroup$ @ManuH one can leave a helpful comment such as that on the question itself, instead of instantly reaching for the close button. Insta-closing blocks people from answering, whereas leaving helpful comments first then allowing a little time for a response allows people to improve their post without all of the drama and angst. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Aug 25 '19 at 2:38

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