Wikidata:Property proposal/NSSDCA ID

NSSDCA ID (Spacecraft)Edit

Originally proposed at Wikidata:Property proposal/Transportation

   Done: NSSDCA ID (P8913) (Talk and documentation)
DescriptionThe NSSDCA ID is an external identifier of records within the Master Catalog of the NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive (NSSDCA), similar but not synonymous with the COSPAR ID.
Data typeExternal identifier
Domainspacecraft (Q40218), spaceflight (Q5916), space station module (Q18812508), space program (Q60054001)
Allowed valuesRegex would be any combination of upper-case letter, number or hyphen, maximum of 9 characters
Example 1Voyager 1 (Q48469)1977-084A (proper COSPAR ID as identifier)
Example 2LightSail-2 (Q96142561)2019036AC (COSPAR ID that has been compressed to fit character limit)
Example 3BepiColombo (Q113169)BEPICLMBO (current mission not using COSPAR ID)
Example 4Lucy (Q21076293)LUCY (future mission not yet assigned COSPAR ID)
Example 5Sojourner (Q1770537)MESURPR (rover never assigned COSPAR ID)
Example 6Space Shuttle (Q48806)SHUTTLE (space program, rather than individual mission)
Expected completenessalways incomplete (Q21873886)
Formatter URL$1
See alsoCOSPAR ID (P247), SCN (P377)


There is confusion between the NSSDCA ID and the COSPAR ID of spacecraft. These IDs are from two separate catalogs managed by different organizations. While the NSSDCA ID of a spacecraft is most often equal to the COSPAR ID of the object, many spacecraft have a different NSSDCA ID and COSPAR ID. For this reason, the NSSDCA ID and the COSPAR ID can not be treated as synonymous. Currently, the formatter URL of COSPAR ID (P247) utilizes the NSSDCA URL listed in this proposal. When the two IDs differ, linking issues occur. This problem could be solved by creating a distinct external identifier for NSSDCA catalog records. If Wikipedia article authors would like to link to the NSSDCA website, they can use the proposed NSSDCA ID (Spacecraft) property instead of the COSPAR ID.

Some examples of this difference are:

The issue has been discussed at

The NSSDCA provides direct hyperlink-ability to records in their catalog using this NSSDCA ID, with the URL differing depending on the type of the record. Because the NSSDCA consists of several different types of records, including: Spacecraft, Experiments, Data collections, personnel, and more, all bearing an NSSDCA ID, for Wikidata linking purposes it may be necessary to distinguish this type as a "Spacecraft" record, hence the "(Spacecraft)" in the name.Spacepat o (talk) 16:48, 20 October 2020 (UTC)

<ping project should not be used in an indented reply> Cekli Adert Mu301 FabC Romain2boss Shisma AlienAnnie Tris T7 Aluxosm Rjelves Wallacegromit1 Kees08 Jura Huntster Josecurioso   Notified participants of WikiProject Space


  •   Support. Shoehorning a dissimilar NSSDCA id into the COSPAR field just to correctly link to the website is especially troubling since it can feed incorrect data to all the projects and other end-users. Most of the time COSPAR and NSSDCA are the same, but with increasing numbers of smallsats being launched en-mass and generating overly long COSPAR ids that NSSDCA can't handle, any number of wiki articles that pull from us run the potential of showing entirely incorrect information. I wrote elsewhere that our duty is to provide accurate data, not merely convenient data that links to outside entities nicely. As a thought for the future, once NSSDCA ids become more widely propagated, we could eventually transition COSPAR ID (P247) to link to something like the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs. It's linking strategy is a bit weird but it works:{"filters":[{"fieldName":"object.internationalDesignator_s","value":"$1"}]}. Huntster (t @ c) 18:22, 20 October 2020 (UTC)
  •   Comment This proposal has the same formatter URL (P1630) as COSPAR ID (P247), I don't think two properties can have the same URL, it can create conflicts.--Kette~cawiki (talk) 10:42, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
    • If it causes a conflict (which it really shouldn't, since it is entirely reasonable that different Properties might call on the same resource), then an alternate URL is available above. There are plenty of options if that, of all things, is a sticking point. Huntster (t @ c) 14:15, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
    • @Kette~cawiki: I am having trouble finding information about conflicts that would be created if two properties had the same formatter URL. Can you expand on your concerns? Thanks! Spacepat o (talk) 15:45, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
    • @Huntster, Spacepat o: sorry, maybe I explained myself wrong. I have no problem with this property, the problem is in COSPAR ID (P247) with a formatter URL (P1630) that does not work properly with some of the correct values. I totally agree with the creation of this property that will allow us to make correct URLs without having to enter values with erroneous syntax as with the other property. What I think is that the formatter URL (P1630) property of COSPAR ID (P247) needs to be removed to avoid confusion to those of us looking for the creation of the link it provides to insert it into the infoboxes that import its content from WD.--Kette~cawiki (talk) 20:48, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
  •   Support For the reasons expressed earlier.--Kette~cawiki (talk) 20:49, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
@Spacepat o, Huntster, Kette~cawiki:   Done NSSDCA ID (P8913) Pamputt (talk) 21:51, 4 December 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for handling this Pamputt. Huntster (t @ c) 21:55, 4 December 2020 (UTC)
Thanks all!Spacepat o (talk) 00:39, 5 December 2020 (UTC)