Prompted by Jon Ericson♦ in a comment to this question, I'd like to know if questions on history of space exploration are on-topic here. There's already a History.SE site, but I'm not sure folks there are tech savvy enough to separate the wheat from the chaff.
My own take on the issue is that it is very hard to disentangle politics from tech of space exploration:
- Space law was declared on-topic (it is set by politicians/diplomats/lawyers with technical advice)
- Military aspects of space were declared on-topic (and we all know war is just politics by other means)
Complex political/technical/economic questions haven't been challenged at all:
- Why did the Russians never land on the Moon?
- Why was the NERVA program dropped?
- What made NASA shut down the Shuttle program?
- Does any country have real plans for a manned mission to Mars?
- Has any country stated its official position on how it would respond to a discovery of intelligent extra terrestrial life?
- How are (robotic) government space exploration missions in Japan initiated?
- What portion of SpaceX's revenue comes from private sources?
- Is true that Armstrong was not designated as first to walk on the moon?
I can see the danger of soft questions that @gerrit alludes to, but it seems we are protected from them by the general rules at StackExchange (no forum-like banter, no speculative answers).
Am skeptical that history buffs will be extremely knowledgeable in space history, to be honest.
There's another side of "space history" questions: To gather and maintain popularity, there has to be a wide range of topics accessible to non-professional enthusiasts. For them it may be easier to, say, run through a dozen books on history than to learn anew some real astrodynamics.
If the answer is of technical or scientific nature: yes.
If the answer is of political or economical, or other soft nature: no.
Example of on-topic historical questions:
- What power system did the Apollo landers use?
- What were the characteristics of the on-board computer systems on the Venera probes?
Example of off-topic historical questions:
- Why did the USA fail to be the first rocket power?
- What caused the Space Race?