I have been working on a story for some time similar to Andy Weir’s Hail Mary Pass that involves deep space observation in search of a probe target and as very often happens I have to use three of my five allowed tags to express one concept: space exploration. I don’t need to do any space-travel for this, my story lies completely in the planning and discovery phases of space-exploration. I won’t need any expert answers regarding the tag that is currently listed as a synonym.

You’ll notice a lot of questions piling up three generic tags like [science-fiction], [space], [exploration] to get their point across. Why not use this tag? Why force those space-exploration topics onto the dungeon exploration experts?

Granted there’s a lot of overlap here and there are points to be made for a synonym, because at some point of exploration, you have to make something travel there. However, A casual look gave me at least one question which was forced to use the two tags [space] & [exploration] because they aren’t traveling anywhere.

Exploration is far broader than simply travel; that is one phase of it. Likewise, not all space travel is for the purpose of exploration. An established lunar base on the south pole will be traveled to very often, but we’re very much finished with the exploration of it by now; an established empire will ship cargo, but doesn’t need to do any exploring to pull it off.

I feel this synonym is a mistake. The list of travel-related questions that are not also exploration is endless; here are several questions already existing which very well could involve exploration without any need for engineering travel. We would never travel vast distances without first doing significant observation and planning:

I recommend the following use comment for the space-exploration tag:

space-exploration: For questions about exploration operations in space involving planning and preparation for exploration, identifying and targeting objects to explore or equipment used in this, space vehicle preparations and launch, mission operations and operations equipment or organizations, and data analysis processes and tools. Consider also [space-travel] and [space-colonisation]

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    $\begingroup$ This sounds eminently sensible. It improves precision and accuracy for the subject matter. The present tags effectively, for example, conflate 'ocean exploration', like Christopher Columbus and other European explorers in earlier centuries, with 'sea travel' which doesn't make sense. $\endgroup$
    – a4android
    Oct 29 at 2:55


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