It seems to me that all the possible posts that might use the [dust] tag will not necessarily be related to each other. Some will be FOD issues (a much more interesting tag, imo), some will be space debris, some will be dust during orbital operations, some will be dust on planets and other bodies. Having all these posts connected with a [dust] tag doesn't really help anyone.

Should we separate this tag out into more useful categories?

Update 9/3/2013: Since I posted this question, two other questions have been tagged with the dust tag, and they have branched out into other areas as I predicted. Of the three questions that currently have the dust tag, one is space debris, one is orbital operations, and one is on the moon. These questions are not really connected to one another in any meaningful way.


2 Answers 2


We currently have two tags directly relevant to your question and somewhat differentiating on dust origins: and of course that is perhaps really too broad and ambiguous.

For the time being, we only have 3 questions tagged with and 2 questions tagged with , so this might imply that breaking these more widely applicable tags further might be a bit premature, not to end up with more tags than we have questions for them, though:

Questions currently tagged with :

Questions currently tagged with :

But, there are a few other questions, that could use at least one of the two, or possibly a new dust related tag, and currently include none (granted, some questions have used up all the 5 available slots for tags and those might be better describing the nature of the questions, so think of this as a study into which additional tags we might need):

Questions that could use any dust / micro particles related tag:

This list is not to suggest these question need retagging, but so we get an overview of what possible additional or replacing tags the tag could be split into. I suggest we indeed get rid of the tag and split it a bit into more descriptive tags, perhaps by the dust origins, and maybe find some other uses for them than merely the above listed questions:

  • (We already have. could probably be added as a new tag synonym.)
  • (New tag. Could be used for any micro-density atmospheres where molecules and dust particles don't behave like gas and don't collide with each other so much as their movement being more influenced by inertia, sublimation, static and/or magnetic charge, including lunar exosphere, comet comas and tails, or surrounding any other celestials.)
  • and (New tags as synonyms. Could be used for any micro particles in outer space, where its origin is not discussed.)
  • (New tag. For any questions regarding spacecraft assembly, foreign objects and mitigation thereof in clean room assembly environments.)

So basically, this is my suggestion for new tags that I believe could be added to already existing questions and as such immediately applicable. Instead of two that we already have, there could be four. Or putting it differently, one goes and three new ones are added.

A few of them could use additional tag synonyms, so posters can find them easier and add them to their questions on their own, but they would describe more or less the same thing. We also already have (could probably do just as well without space and be as such slightly more widely applicable), that doesn't really imply this debris size. Without space in front of it, it could then also be used instead of your own suggestion to use the tag (foreign object debris/damage) that is in my opinion not as intuitive and posters might fail to notice it to include it in their questions.


+ ( = ) + + ( = ) +



Edit to add: After a conversation with @JonEricson (our community manager), I'm inclined to rather not delete the tag and make it another synonym of the tag. As has Jon pointed out, we might have problems getting rid of the tag and it will be continuously added to our tag list by new questions, and if we keep it as a synonym, this way the authors of questions will be reminded of all the tags that have the keyword "dust" in them, as well as any synonyms it has, so also of the tag. So the slightly changed proposal for the tag housekeeping would be:

(= = ) + + ( = ) +

And the rest remains unchanged.

In view of suggested changes, please review your votes to support this proposal!

  • $\begingroup$ Those are great recommendations. I just threw mine out to get the ball rolling. +1 $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    Sep 4, 2013 at 12:37
  • $\begingroup$ @called2voyage- Sure, no problem. I'm waiting for more support for either suggested way, or even additional suggestions, if they get more upvotes. When any of them will be implemented, mods will mark your question with the "status-completed" tag, so you will know when accepting one is OK. And accepts and upvotes on meta don't reflect on user's reputation (wouldn't make sense, we sometimes intentionally post counterarguments for members to vote on, up or down), so all this accepting business is probably best left for then anyway not to imply one suggestion is favored over another. :) $\endgroup$
    – TildalWave
    Sep 5, 2013 at 15:44

I recommend breaking the [dust] tag down into other tags. Here are my suggested tags:

  • fod (This would refer to foreign object debris/damage during the construction and assembly of products.)
  • cosmic-dust (maybe, I'm not really certain that this is different than micro-meteorites)
  • dust-mitigation (this addresses dust issues in orbital operations)
  • planetary-dust (questions related to dust on planetary bodies, such as moon dust)

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