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Background

Because Stack Exchange sites are requited to stick to English (except for those specifically in other languages) we sometimes make certain choices. For example it's been previously established that the term "astronaut" will also be acceptable in this site when applied to Russian and Chinese cosmonauts and taikonauts, terms which are English implementations of words in other languages and so already inexact, though we have no problem using any of them as applicable. What term should be used for *naut?

Discussion/question:

There is a new space station under construction by China. It is called Tiangong which can be translated "Heavenly Palace" and I have also seen it referred to as the CSS which I am guessing would be Chinese Space Station though I am not sure.

The Tianhe core module is now in orbit, has received a robotic cargo shippment and now has three crew, and they've already been busy assembling it and space walking.

I think that the newly created tag would be the best tag for questions about this space station. There are likely to be many in the future so choosing a tag that's simple and intuitive and has parity with the tag could be a good move.

Right now when users start typing "Tain..." three tags appear; , and . Ideally would appear now as well with guidance "Chinese space station CSS also known as Tiangong" to clear up any confusion or incorrect tagging.

Questions about the core module would continue to use , similar to other specific module tags like , and

Note: (from here):

...publications by Chinese academics do cite this kind of naming (e.g. CSS-OS and CSST)

What do others think?

related: What is or are the official English names for the eventual space station being built by China, and of the first module that's in orbit now?

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The current tags follow the names of the relevant Wikipedia articles:

According to the last WP article above,

On 31 October 2013, China Manned Space Engineering announced the new names for the whole program:[7]

  • The precursor space labs would be called Tiangong (simplified Chinese: 天宫; traditional Chinese: 天宮; pinyin: Tiān Gōng; lit. 'Heavenly Palace'), code TG. Tiangong-1 launched in 2011. Tiangong-2 launched in 2016.
  • The large modular space station would be called Tiangong as well, without number.

So it seems these names are official.

Wikipedia does not use the name "Chinese Space Station" at all, so I don't think it's a good idea to adopt that as the name. I feel that the existing tags are accurate and appropriate.


I don't like the idea of a separate tag for Tianhe; is sufficient and appropriate.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer! Wikipedia is currently blocked in China since 23 April 2019 and in Myanmar since 21 February 2021. which while it doesn't address accuracy directly does factor into a discussion of that articles completeness and accuracy. Let's see if CSS shows up elsewhere. Note that I'm asking about the best tag name for site function and to minimize mis-tagging, not "What should we call it?" Review my discussion on what actually happens when someone starts typing the tag name that pops into their mind. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jul 5 at 3:51
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh: You have no access to WP? Bummer. The tag info for t-s-s begins "Chinese large modular space station", so if you start typing "chinese" in the tag box, that tag should pop up. $\endgroup$
    – DrSheldon
    Jul 5 at 4:03
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    $\begingroup$ See links inside this post space.stackexchange.com/q/52023/12102 No that's not the case, I have access to Wikipedia. What I meant is that Chinese readers and editors of Wikipedia are now impossible, which "does factor into a discussion of that articles completeness and accuracy." I $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jul 5 at 4:03
  • $\begingroup$ Hmmm, terms in tag info helps with search on the tag page, but not the tags box on questions. $\endgroup$
    – DrSheldon
    Jul 5 at 4:05
  • $\begingroup$ Right, but if tiangong-space-station were merged or synonymized with css then it would, as far as I understand it. The way tags work is still confusing to me, but I think that that's the general idea. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jul 5 at 4:07
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    $\begingroup$ If you're really that enthusiastic about a synonym, at least spell it out: chinese-space-station. But that might mislead some people into thinking there has only ever been one. $\endgroup$
    – DrSheldon
    Jul 5 at 4:13
  • $\begingroup$ As mentioned in the question, I suggest css because it has parity with the existing iss tag and so will not be hard to get used to for both new and regular users. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jul 5 at 4:26
  • $\begingroup$ I'm now convinced you didn't even read my question before answering! "We don't even do that for the ISS modules." see the question "Questions about the core module would continue to use tianhe-core-module, similar to other specific module tags like zarya, zvezda and bigelow-expandable-module" Those are used 62, 114 and 73 times, and yet you just make up the "factoid" that this doesn't happen. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jul 5 at 22:33
  • $\begingroup$ What's the point of putting research into a question if answer authors just go off and make up alternative facts? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jul 5 at 22:35
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    $\begingroup$ No, I did try several searches for module-related tags on the tag page, and nothing came up. I did do research before posting. $\endgroup$
    – DrSheldon
    Jul 5 at 22:39
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    $\begingroup$ I'm still not a fan of an acronym that only you seem to use as a tag synonym. $\endgroup$
    – DrSheldon
    Jul 5 at 22:39
  • $\begingroup$ See new answer, apparently China, the United Nations, Space.com and eoPortal all have no problem with it. I think your answer is based purely on personal taste and does not draw from facts apart from Wikipedia whose articles are constantly changing and being updated and currently can not be edited in the country where the space station originated. Wikipedia is often wrong or incomplete and is not a good primary source. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jul 5 at 22:49
  • $\begingroup$ Though I disagree, it seems the votes are obviously in favor of your answer and in disfavor of mine, so I'll accept it. What's the next step? Remove the css from any question and let it decay to oblivion in 24 hours? Or merge/synonymize it with tiangong-space-station? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jul 7 at 2:56
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh: Yes, if you remove css (actually, replace it with tiangong-space-station), then it will auto-disappear. No need to make a tag synonym, which would have been work for a mod anyway. I was wrong about module-specific tags; you should leave that on the question. $\endgroup$
    – DrSheldon
    Jul 7 at 3:54
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    $\begingroup$ Yeah, that looks good. $\endgroup$
    – DrSheldon
    Jul 7 at 4:27
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I'll add the opposite answer to allow for voting both ways.

Yes, is a good tag as it offers intuitive parity to . We are not renaming the station, this is about the tag name that works best.

Merging or synonymization with will cause css to pop up when someone starts typing tiango... along with and . This will prevent mis-tagging.

Note: Acronyms are impossible in Chinese, thus any romanization will be a construct. Tiangong Space Station is an romanized approximation to "天宫". For tagging purposes in Space SE, "CSS" will be best as a tag as it offers parity with ISS and will minimize tagging errors once the changes as proposed are implemented.

The question demonstrates that both "CSS" and "Chinese Space Station" are already in use, and here are more:

The Chinese Space Station (CSS) is expected to be completed in 2022 and be permanently crewed for at least 10 years. It could even become the only destination in low Earth orbit for international astronauts, since the future of the International Space Station (ISS) is not clear beyond 2024.

International science payloads will also fly to the space station, through cooperation between the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the CMSEO. Foreign astronauts are also expected to visit the CSS.

The road to China's space station has been long, requiring serious resources and innovation. Here's handy primer on everything you need to know about CSS; its history, modules, crew, launch plans and more.

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