Talk:Adam Steltzner

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Contested deletion[edit]

This article should not be speedily deleted for lack of asserted importance because of the successful landing of the mars rover last night and the importance of the space program in the United States of America.

I'm the one who requested a review. I mentioned it is a well written article and this is a great guy, but the reasons you give dont justify an encyclopedia entry for this particular individual. If anything his name can be mentioned on the MSL page, but a biography is going a bit far. Maybe one day if he is director of JPL... (talk) 21:24, 6 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have declined the speedy because there is an assertion of notability, with some references. Please note that this does not mean that the article should be kept. A more focussed community consensus can be reached via the WP:AFD process. The JPStalk to me 21:42, 6 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I understand User's concern and typically for single events we place the names within the main article itself. On the other hand, I also have been noticing on Wikipedia that many other "non-notable" people have articles created. For example, pretty much every Olympic athlete for 2012 games has a personal article regardless of whether they have won a medal or not, so it seems harmless to have this article posted as well. So I am 50/50 on it, but as the administrator mentioned it would be good to post on the AFD page. Please do so if you have not already User: Thanks. --Theelectricchild (talk) 22:04, 6 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks, I will do that. My main concern was the same you point out, notability for a single event. I've also seen the sharp increase of bios on Wikipedia, so maybe the guidelines need to be revised. I'm a bit disappointed the article's author removed the tag on the front page unilaterally. This isn't an attack on his work, it is simply making sure we have consensus that we follow encyclopedia guidelines and not turn Wilipedia into a who's who... (talk) 23:26, 6 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK, thanks for your response. Yes I do agree, please feel free to add the tag back until the dispute has been resolved. --Theelectricchild (talk) 23:43, 6 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would appreciate if you could start an AfD and not use a notability tag. The reason is, from your perspective, there is nothing I could do to make the subject notable, you have judged him non-notable and no amount of additional sources or wording would change that situation. (The article is already heavily sourced.) So the notability tag is not helpful in this case. The only resolution is AFD if you still believe the article to be in violation of specific Wikipedia rule(s). Green Cardamom (talk) 23:53, 6 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is ridiculous – the guy has just landed the most important mission on Mars ever. Who are these deleteonauts who want to get rid of him? There seem to be some unduly costive people hanging around this encyclopaedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:42, 6 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think you need to calm down and see if maybe your comments aren't ridiculous. You don't need to make personal attacks against people who simply want to make sure we follow Wikipedia policy on notability. Also, to be fair, it was not this one person who landed the rover on Mars, not by a long shot. (talk) 23:30, 6 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree about no personal attacks. There are six people involved with the MSL who at a minimum should have Wikipedia articles, they are the primary mission leaders: John Grunsfeld, NASA associate administrator, Charles Elachi, director, JPL, Pete Theisinger, MSL project manager, Richard Cook, MSL deputy project manager, Adam Steltzner, MSL entry, descent and landing (EDL) lead and John Grotzinger, MSL project scientist. You can see the six in this picture. We now have all of them, except one, Richard Cook. Green Cardamom (talk) 01:47, 7 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree that all major players involved with MSL should have the same coverage. However he has been the face and voice for the EDL portion of this mission from the beginning and is therefore recognizable and curiosity worthy. There are also people, who have been following his career for years and that alone justifies his having a wiki page. Instead of deleting this, add pages on the rest of team. More information is always better. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:26, 15 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

DYK nomination[edit]

Template:Did you know nominations/Adam Steltzner -- Green Cardamom (talk) 01:42, 8 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

NASA picture[edit]

This section for discussion of this image of Adam Steltzner. Hope to hear from someone from NASA about licensing for upload to Wikipedia. Green Cardamom (talk) 20:44, 12 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Personality rights notwithstanding (and not relevant from a licensing perspective, this image can certainly be uploaded to Commons if desired, as NASA-created images are without copyright. I'm not fond of it simply due to the composition, but again, I'll upload if it is wanted. In the meantime, I've uploaded several other images and created a Commons category to hold them: commons:Category:Adam Steltzner. Huntster (t @ c) 11:22, 22 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi Huntster, I appreciate the response and uploads. You say "NASA-created images are without copyright," however this is not always the case. According to JPL Image Policy, it says:

Some image and video materials on JPL public web sites are owned by organizations other than JPL or NASA. These owners have agreed to make their images and video available for journalistic, educational and personal uses, but restrictions are placed on commercial uses. To obtain permission for commercial use, contact the copyright owner listed in each image caption. Ownership of images and video by parties other than JPL and NASA is noted in the caption material with each image.

At the bottom of the images it says "NASA/Bill Ingalls". I contacted the Flickr account where these images came from and they told me they are a contractor of NASA (ie. not NASA) and that they images could not be used for commercial use (specifically the endorsement of a product or service). This seems to be supported by Wikilegal/NASA images and the license the images have at Flickr (CC-BY-NonCommercial). If you have information about these images otherwise it would be great to hear. If you are associated with NASA or the contractor who made these images that would be even better :) Green Cardamom (talk) 15:19, 22 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Ph.D. Engineering Mechanics, Department of Engineering Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison [1] [2]
(NEEP department now Engineering Physics; Engineering Mechanics and Astronautics; Academic Policies and Procedures For Graduate Work In Engineering Mechanics; Graduate School Catalog/Engineering Mechanics)


  1. ^ "Perspective, Volume 23, Number 4, College Notes: 'Polygon teaching awards announced'". University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering. Jun 25, 1997. Retrieved August 27, 2012.
  2. ^ "NASA engr Adam Steltzner, who headed Curiosity's 'crazy' innovative landing design, is a UW engineering mechanics grad". UW-Madison Engr @UWMadEngr, The official Twitter feed for the UW-Madison College of Engineering. August 7, 2012. Retrieved August 27, 2012.

--Kasparov (talk) 11:39, 27 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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See also[edit]

Dr. Steltzner is the Chief Engineer for the upcoming "Mars Sample Return" project, and also served as such for the past "Curiosity" mission. The "See Also" section on this page should at least include his colleague and deputy Chief Engineer for the Curiosity project, Dr. San Martín. In addition, the "See Also" section should either include all director/leads of the Curiosity project (Mr. Ferdowsi was a flight director for the Cruise/EDL phases) or none of them.

This page is for a scientist/engineer, not a pop-culture icon. If someone else is going to be referenced, it should be the other Chief Engineer of the project/JPL Fellow/National Academy of Engineers member, not a someone with a "cool" haircut. This isn't BuzzFeed, it's Wikipedia and San Martin received equal amounts of press coverage, but it was more geared towards his technical contributions.[1][2]

Think about what your doing. Your riding on the fame of Steltzner to promote other lesser known but supposedly "deserving" scientists. You said: "[My] Reaction is due to being annoyed at scientists not getting the deserved recognition for their work." Your "annoyed" and trying to use Wikipedia to give "recognition" for a scientist you think "deserves" it by piggybacking on the fame of Steltzner. Further, you say the notability of Ferdowsi due to being a pop-culture icon is not as important as less-notable scientists. Wikipedia notability doesn't care why someone is notable, and we certainly don't highlight "deserving" individuals, it violates neutrality. The fact is, Steltzner and Ferdowsi are far more notable than anyone else on that team at the time, for similar reasons. Also your wrong that is is a "page is for a scientist/engineer, not a pop-culture icon". Wikipedia does not care why a person is notable, it follows the weight of sources, and more so, it's not a black and white he is both these things - which is why he is in the same camp as Ferdowsi. And we're not going to list every person or scientist who thinks they "deserve" more "recognition" on Wikipedia by piggybacking on Steltzner! The fact your account is an WP:SPA and you have been editing warring for days to add this one scientist to the article who is "deserving of recognition". That's not what the See also section is for. -- GreenC 00:13, 2 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Think about what you're [sic] doing."
Thanks for the suggestion, I actually have. You see, I'm appreciative of the time people like yourself spend editing Wikipedia, and I'd like to contribute more myself, but my day-to-day obligations prevent me from doing so. I'm sure Wikipedia editors have to constantly deal with edits meant solely for the purpose of promotion. However, labeling any occurrence you don't agree with as such is narrow-minded. You're claiming that I created an account, waited almost a year, and used it to promote a random scientist on this page? That's quite the conspiracy theory.
If you take some time to read my points you'd understand where I'm coming from, even if you still don't agree with the rationale. As you don't seem willing to go beyond your intuition, here's a breakdown of my claims:
1. They're both NASA engineers who were widely reported about during the Curiosity rover landing.

Adam Diedrich Steltzner (born 1963)[1] is an American NASA engineer who works for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). He worked on several flight projects including Galileo, Cassini, Mars Pathfinder, Mars Exploration Rovers (MER). He was the lead engineer of the Mars Science Laboratory's EDL phase (Entry, Descent and Landing),[2][3] and helped design, build and test the sky crane landing system.[1][6]

Alejandro Miguel San Martín[1] (January 6, 1959) is an Argentine engineer of NASA[2] and a science educator.[3] He is best known for his work as Chief Engineer for the Guidance, Navigation, and Control system in the latest missions to Mars.[4][5] His best known contribution is the Sky Crane system, of which he is coinventor, used in the Curiosity mission for the descent of the rover.[6]

2. Their most significant technical contribution is the invention (both of them are co-inventors) of the Sky Crane system. This has been widely reported, but you seem to fixate on the section of the articles that focus on Dr. Steltzner's fashion sense.
3. They are both known for having been inducted into the National Academy of Engineers (which was also reported, but to a lesser extent). This is one of the highest distinctions people in their profession can receive.
4. They are both fellows at JPL, which again, is a distinction that very few Engineers receive, although I'll admit that this fact isn't impactful enough by itself to warrant having a Wikipedia entry.
5. Dr. San Martin may not look like Elvis, nor sport a Mohawk, but he did make the media rounds last year during the Perseverance landing (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert):
In sum, my only conflict of interest is being familiar with their work, as someone who follows the space program, particularly what goes on at JPL. Mr. Ferdowsi did receive quite a bit of attention during a few months after the Curiosity landing (even his Wikipedia entry notes the briefness of his notability), but over the span of their entire scientific careers, I maintain that Dr. San Martin and Dr. Steltzner have much more commonality.
Sources (partial list)
-- Makerbro (talk) 08:43, 2 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

RFC about including Bobak Ferdowsi in the See Also section[edit]

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Rough consensus to implement the proposal; no !votes since the end of September, and consensus is clear enough. Edward-Woodrow (talk · contribs)

Should Bobak Ferdowsi be included in the See Also section? Example diff. GreenC 06:18, 18 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Previously discussed in section above "See also".

  • Support. Adam Steltzner and Bobak Ferdowsi are frequently discussed in the same sources together. Typically in the context of the "changing face" of NASA engineers to be more "hip/cool" etc.. this article and this article sums it up nicely (there are many more). The second one is titled "Forget the Nerdy Image: Mars Rover Curiosity Team Includes “Mohawk Guy” [Ferdowsi] and Former Rock ‘n’ Roller [Steltzner]". As such when you see one in the press, you often see the other. For example, they were interviewed together on NPR. As such, I believe it makes sense to include Ferdowsi in the See Also section of this article. I am also open to expanding this duo in the main body of the article, since there is so much sourcing. -- GreenC 06:18, 18 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support. (disclaimer: came from YapperBot) Though WP:SEEALSO does not require that the section be noted, I do not see its inclusion as a detraction to the article. I would recommend making some sort of annotation on who Ferdowsi is within the See Also entry, but given the evidence GreenC has listed so far, I would support Ferdowsi's inclusion to help not only "build out the web" (as WP:SEEALSO puts it) but give more attention to related articles. InvadingInvader (userpage, talk) 15:27, 18 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support Several RS cite the "Mohawk guy" who garnered special media attention that makes him more notable than many other employees at NASA who may have the same job title but are not as well known. CranberryMuffin (talk) 15:44, 18 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose "Adam Steltzner and Bobak Ferdowsi are..." Not are, but actually were. The searches linked return results for a brief period in 2012 where the LA Times and other news outlets ran (IMO) a fluff piece highlighting "The Mohawk Guy" in the Control Room for the Curiosity Mission. Even Fedowsi's own Wikipedia page alludes to the brevity of his notoriety in the opening paragraph (source: Bobak_Ferdowsi). I get the point of building out the web, but the graph of connections of a JPL fellow is vast, and the See Also section should have some strict criteria for inclusion of topics that are relevant to the subject of the page — a handful of articles during a short periods of time shouldn't be one of them. Makerbro (talk) 03:42, 27 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support Per MOS:SEEALSO, "One purpose of "See also" links is to enable readers to explore tangentially related topics; however, articles linked should be related to the topic of the article or be in the same defining category." And ultimately, it's just up to us to use common sense, according to the MOS. Seems like a reasonable link, and otherwise not noted in the body of the article. Everything checks out. Pistongrinder (talk) 20:36, 30 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The reason for this RfC is another editor in the above discussion is "annoyed" that deserving scientists don't get recognition. This editor doesn't think Ferdowsi is deserving of the See Also section, since he is a lower rank/position employee at NASA/JPL and other higher ranking people are not included. This user says if we include Ferdowsi we *must* include every other director/lead of the Curiosity project in the See Also section. I find the whole thing bizarre for a number of reasons, so am turning it over to the community to decide. It has the feel of "office politics", or using Wikipedia to resolve some great harm. I'm also concerned by this users stated intention to include every director/lead of the Curiosity project in the See Also section, this would be inappropriate. Ferdowsi is included not for his title or rank, but because sources frequently tie these two together in a special/unique way. Simply working at the same organization or having a similar job description is not inherently notable for See Also. -- GreenC 07:03, 18 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"The reason for this RfC is another editor in the above discussion is 'annoyed' that deserving scientists don't get recognition..."

Strawman argument.

Context: editor GreenC kept removing another entry in the See Also section for the co-inventor of the technology that brought Dr. Steltzner notoriety in the technical field (the Skycrane System) and who is also a Chief Engineer of the Curiosity Mission — a title he shared with Dr. Steltner and is well known for. The argument against Fedowsi is separate, so I don't see the point the aforementioned user is trying to make. --Makerbro 04:07, 27 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It wasn't clear to me, at the time, why you were adding this person. I'm not against it now, and am not trying to remove it now, so not sure why you bring this up. Your the one who keeps removing Fedowsi, even now, leaving no option but a conflict resolution process. You are unable to compromise by including both, and set an ultimatum if you don't your way you are going to add tons of names into the section, apparently to make a WP:POINT about the lack of visibility of deserving scientists WP:GREATWRONG. -- GreenC 04:13, 27 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I fundamentally disagree with including Fedowsi, because if throughout Wikipedia we were to include in the "See also" section every person that shared "fame" for a brief period of time with the subject of the article, those lists would get pretty long. Though this isn't the case for Adam Stelzner, I tend to be be coherent and set personal editing standards that can be applied to any single page.
"set an ultimatum if you don't your way you are going to add tons of names into the section..."
Honestly, I do not understand how you jump to these conclusions. I never threatened you with such a thing, and this isn't the first time you've been called out on this behavior. Keep your arguments evidence-based and don't make unsubstantiated attacks to those who don't see things your way. Makerbro (talk) 23:54, 2 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Above: In addition, the "See Also" section should either include all director/leads of the Curiosity project (Mr. Ferdowsi was a flight director for the Cruise/EDL phases) or none of them.. -- GreenC 00:04, 3 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.