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Two recent questions have comments suggesting that there might be something wrong about posting questions that some users feel are not immediately answerable:

Why can't the VIPER lunar rover recharge its 100-day power source using its solar panels? has a comment:

I suggest we put this question on hold until an official statement on the power source is given to the public. So we don't get a bunch of guess in the answers.

Power supply for StarShip? currently has one close vote and the comment (don't know if the comment is linked to the close vote or not):

I think this question can't be answered right now. Starships have been equiped with deployable solar panels in multiple official renderings released by SpaceX but outside of the propulsion system and general vehicle capabilities, very little is known about starship (due to it either being secret or SpaceX themselves not decided yet). SpaceX in general makes many decisions quickly and changes designs frequently too. What may be the answer today, might change next week.

Both questions are about spacecraft in active development, and seem timely in general, with no obvious quality issues. Is there any reason why they might be closable now, to be re-opened when an answer becomes available?

If so, how would that work?

Related pre-crime comment

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    $\begingroup$ There's actually a post notice we can put on questions that says: "Current event: Post is related to a rapidly changing event." I don't think it restricts any answers to the questions though. If that's really what we wanted to do, we could lock the question for a set amount of time (ab)using the content dispute lock reason. I personally think these types of questions should be left open and people should judge the answers accordingly. A current event post notice should be added so people know that later answers may supersede theirs. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    Oct 31, 2019 at 11:41
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    $\begingroup$ Just to be clear, you may have noticed I didn't mention closing. I do not believe that these questions should be put on hold/closed. If the questions are otherwise good, just too early for good answers, then they should not be closed. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    Oct 31, 2019 at 11:50
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    $\begingroup$ I also don't think they should be closed, but (like any question) junk guess-y answers need to be dealt with. $\endgroup$ Oct 31, 2019 at 13:37
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    $\begingroup$ @called2voyage i wonder if this is a candidate for such a post notice? How does the Russian invasion of Ukraine affect ISS operations? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Feb 24, 2022 at 13:37

2 Answers 2

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Keep it. While it may go unanswered for now it will eventually be answered. You are almost saying that the asker (who knows nothing about it) should know whether or not it is answerable. That is not a fair standard at all. Leave it until it is answerable, and then it can be answered. There is no problem with a question going unanswered because nobody knows the answer. Check out the unaswered section. Should post that have been there for a while be closed simply because no one has the answer at the moment? No, of course not.

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    $\begingroup$ I disagree. Other parts of the SE network (e.g., skeptics.SE) have specific vote to close options to close a question that is currently unanswerable. If one waits until the question is answerable, the answer will be all over the place on the internet, making it so that the question is no longer meaningful. $\endgroup$ Mar 12, 2023 at 11:34
  • $\begingroup$ Key word "other". Space Exploration does not because that isn't a valid reason here. It may be elsewhere. @DavidHammen $\endgroup$ Mar 12, 2023 at 11:41
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    $\begingroup$ Every StackExchange network site, including this one, has "Other..." as a close reason, @Starship. The person voting to close has to write a reason for the vote, and then others can pile on, or not. $\endgroup$ Mar 12, 2023 at 14:10
  • $\begingroup$ You are correct. If thing is constantly said in other it should either be its own option or not done at all @DavidHammen $\endgroup$ Mar 12, 2023 at 14:12
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    $\begingroup$ That is wrong, @Starship. Every SE site has a "Other..." category because sites limit the number of pre-canned close reasons and cannot foresee all the reasons questions should be closed. Those limited pre-canned reasons cannot describe the myriad reasons to close a question. As an extreme example, suppose a question asks responders to do something that is illegal. This is not an explicit close reason at any site I participate in, yet questions have been closed for this very reason under the "Other..." category. $\endgroup$ Mar 12, 2023 at 16:25
  • $\begingroup$ Correct. But if people keep putting the same reason in other consistently, then it should either be an option itself or isn't a valid closer eason @DavidHammen $\endgroup$ Mar 12, 2023 at 16:28
  • $\begingroup$ The underlying software only allows a very limited number of canned VTC reasons, and all of that limited number are taken at this site and at every other SE site I participate in. $\endgroup$ Mar 12, 2023 at 16:39
  • $\begingroup$ Again, reread my answer. Should we close every unanswered question that has been around for a week because nobody has come along with the answer yet? No, that would be dumb and pointless @DavidHammen $\endgroup$ Mar 12, 2023 at 16:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Starshipisgoforlaunch - we are restricted in number of close reasons, so we use them for the top ones. If we want a new one we have to drop an existing one, so David is right that "other" is the catch-all $\endgroup$
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Mar 13, 2023 at 10:46
  • $\begingroup$ Again, as pointed out before related a to current event is not really a reason to close, just a notification to tell people that it may not be answer able "yet". The power of yet. @RoryAlsop $\endgroup$ Mar 13, 2023 at 13:52
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The community has been given the capability to close questions. The categorized reasons to close are, to me, a laundry list of commonly used closure reasons. Some questions are closed with a dubious choice of one of the standard reasons. One also can vote to close for whatever reason one wants. Simply select "Other..." and type in the reason.

The OP does not like this and calls these "made-up" closure reasons. This is a capability I would not prefer to see go away. I prefer this rather than a force fit to one of the standard reasons. I can (and have) voted to close questions that are currently unanswerable because they are related to rapidly changing events, and others have joined me.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer! Just fyi I wrote the "made up" comment but I'm not the author of that question. But I am the author if this question in meta which links to a different question. It's true we can type any string of characters in the "other" box, but most folks still try not to deviate too much from community norms. We don't normally close on-topic questions just because they're a few weeks or months early because there's no evidence of harm. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Feb 24, 2022 at 23:30
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    $\begingroup$ This is not true. "related to a rapidly changing event" has never been a close reason here. It is a post notice for questions. Rapidly changing events are not considered off topic, but should be flagged with the post notice to encourage readers to take the answers with a grain of salt as the situation develops. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    Feb 25, 2022 at 3:45
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    $\begingroup$ @called2voyage Why is this not true? Any user with VTC privileges can use "Other..." for any reason they want. That said, those who abuse that "Other..." VTC privilege can be punished, sometimes extremely punished (and rightfully so) by a moderator such as you. I use "Other..." with discretion. Do not take that capability away. $\endgroup$ Mar 12, 2023 at 11:45

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