So far, I've seen some great questions, mostly on the theoretical level. As Robert Cartaino mentioned on this question, we are lacking in questions in general that are "Real World" problems, the types of things that Space experts might ask. Most of the questions are what space enthusiasts would ask, primarily bordering on the far future. Most of the questions that I see that are practical are given fairly low attention, and answered quick.

For instance, here's the types of questions I see as being professional type questions:

There are also a good list of the type that NASA might be studying, but aren't a typical space process, like these:

And we have a few that while written from an enthusiasts point of view, they have useful information for professionals, such as:

Below that, we have a multitude of questions which I will be called enthusiast, focusing primarily on a new future technology, idea, or just trying to better understand something that has been done. I won't give any examples, but there are a bunch.

And there are several below this level. Bottom line is, what can we do to encourage people to ask good, useful questions on this site?

  • $\begingroup$ I believe you can invite people by email, so recruitment is still possible. Someone else should try posting about it to forum.nasaspaceflight.com $\endgroup$ – AlanSE Jul 17 '13 at 18:21
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    $\begingroup$ @AlanSE Since we're still in private beta, only invited users can come here. We don't want to post invite links on a forum, though. $\endgroup$ – Undo Jul 17 '13 at 19:33
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    $\begingroup$ There's nothing stopping someone from posting about it on a forum and collecting e-mail addresses from interested experts $\endgroup$ – JohnB Jul 17 '13 at 22:50
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnB That's a good idea. $\endgroup$ – Undo Jul 18 '13 at 20:48

The problem may be in the nature of this (closed) beta. There are mostly enthusiast and generally interested people around, little professionals with a background of any sort in space exploration. I think this place needs some more professionals. Let's invite them ...

Somehow, I don't see this place becoming the discussion forum for space professionals soon. But it may be a kind of platform for professionals for giving good "outreach". It is an old topic in the business: How can people / the "general public" be made aware of space, how can they be made interested in and last but not least how can they be motivated to ask questions so that scientists can answer them. Changing the general attitude towards space exploration and making people interested in it (again) beyond just some cool pictures from Mars shall be the target, in my point of view.

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    $\begingroup$ +1 for the outreach concept. I personally think this is our best option short to medium term! $\endgroup$ – Rory Alsop Jul 17 '13 at 22:17

A few step process:

  1. Reward the good questions. Upvote them, provide well researched answers, etc.
  2. Ask new good questions. I'm personally planning on doing this more over the course of the next few days.
  3. Close the cruft. Look for questions that just don't seem to fit really well, and close them.
  4. Fix the tags

My goal is to work on these items over the course of the next week or so, so this site is looking nice and shiny when we let the hordes in. I encourage everyone to join in with me.

I should say, even some of the questions that are a bit out there attract those in the space community. I speak as a satellite engineer, it was the far out stuff that attracted me to the industry as a whole, and I know plenty of others in the same boat.

  • $\begingroup$ I'll be watching the CV queue... $\endgroup$ – Undo Jul 17 '13 at 17:46

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