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What is your naming system for Planes/Rockets?


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I've documented my system before, but it boils down to a simple letter-number system. Letter denotes a broad class of things, and the number the minimum tech level to build it at.

R# <purpose> - general manned rocket. R8 DunaExp. R9 TyloLander III. etc.

P# <purpose> - unmanned rocket/probe.

S# <where> - orbital station or station component. S7 KerbStat. S7 KerbStat-FuelTank.

SB# <where> - ground station (base). Same as S#. SB8 MinBase II

X-<description> - experimental, one shot design X-TyloLander

T# <size> - template for a lifter design T7 35T

Planes get random names.

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For me, usually a random few words and letters e.g DE-709. If it is a Mun rocket of sorts, Munar will be involved e.g Munar X. SSTO/VTOL planes get their respective class added e.g SSTO Mk17-V2 or VTOL XNAT-60. I just give them names that sound professional really.

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It usually takes me way too much time to come up with names for rockets and planes, but when I do that I put two words together and get 'Lightningbird', or 'Regolitron'. It also depends on where the mission is destined. I have two missions in Jool system. One is named 'Joolington' and the other 'Jooliette'. I also landed 'Laythe One Hab' on Laythe and 'Laythe Pigeon' is awaiting to get the SOI encounter.

My naming system is all over the place.

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I used to use more awesome names, like Prometheus and Zeus, but I've been through a few career saves (my saves tend to be crippled by updates, so I've never gotten very far), so I've relaxed my naming scheme to just goofiness.

In my latest save, I nearly ran out of money early on trying to get a handle on the new aerodynamics. My rocket classes were therefore called the Penultimatum, the Ol' Tomato (Ultimatum), it saved my space program, and finally the Carrot.

Every save, I reserve the name "Valkyrie" for probe-core controlled rescue vehicles. Makes it very easy for me to know what I'm using it for, and keeps me from risking extra Kerbals just to do a rescue mission.

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Major rockets/landers are typically named after Norse mythological figures, mirroring NASA's use of Greek and Roman mythology. Not a hard rule though, I will use any mythological figure, or something else entirely.

Spaceplanes typically get named after birds.

Atmospheric planes typically get names reminescent in some fashion of real planes; for example, a series named after clouds.

Rovers usually get canine or animal names.

Rockets and landers usually get unique names if only because I rarely launch the same such thing twice, but serial production models usually get more utilitarian names because they serve a pure utility purpose (like a minimalist mining stack for placement anywhere needed, or a MPL harvesting lander).

Especially favored designs usually get several variants with similar/related names.

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I usually name them for what they do, e.g. "Mun Base WIP" or "Basic Surveyor," but occasionally if it makes a funny pun or a cool name seems to fit really well I'll go with something like "Min Mussion," "Nombus Prime" (anagram of "Minmus Probe"), or "Magic Lola."

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I tend to think up a name and use it. It can be anything from Knarr (A viking trading ship) to "Mun Lander 3" (for my 3rd lander on Mun, if you coudln't tell). More of the latter, less of the former, because I am not very creative when it comes to naming things.

I thought it'd be fun to do a whole series where I name things after fictional characters who are similar to the ship. But that sounds hard.

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I've developed a simple scheme, with a type name/code and a nickname after that:

Rockets:

- Generally have "RS" or "CH" in their type name (RS for Rocket Ship, CH for Cargo Hauler)

- The letter before the type name denotes its purpose: C stands for Cargo, I stands for Interplanetary, M for mining, G for General purpose, X for testing craft.

- A number in the type name denoting its numerical order.

- The nickname is usually taken from an animal's name, with insects dominating for small stuff and mythical creatures for large stuff:

Example: XRS - 3 Grasshopper - Third career rocket, meant to be the first reaching LKO. I'd post an image, but it's not something I'm too proud of.

Spaceplanes (Shuttles count here)

- Have "SS", "AP", "CP" or "NH" in their type name - SS for Space Shuttles, AP for Atmospheric Planes, CP for Cargo Planes (even SSTOs) and NH for interplanetary.

- Have another letter denoting their series - I take letters I feel like taking, while earlier tend to be closer to the beginning of the alphabet.

- A number denoting their numerical order - same as rocket

- Nickname that begins with their series letter - each plane in one series has different name - E.G. Thunderball, Lightning, Streak

Example: NH-T-2 Thunderball - Interplanetary SSTO meant for delivering stuff to and from Laythe and Duna. Note that NH-T-3 (Improved version of NH-T-2) is not Thunderball, but Target. The entire T-Series has proven to be the best series of planes I've made so far, with plenty of range, good-enough controllability (excluding high-altitude Dutch Roll) and medium-low cargo capacity. It has been, peformance-wise, surpassed only by rockets and W-Series space shuttles.

Bv9UoYL.png

Edited by InterCity
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I usually name my spaceplanes after fish. For other craft, I just find a name that suits the ship and states what it is. Like my newest ship, the LongClaw Interplanetary Tug C, which is bound for Urlum from the outer planets mod with a currently-unnamed lander, and is shaped like an elongated claw, hence the name LongClaw Interplanetary Tug :cool:.

Edited by LaytheDragon
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My launchers are all named after Major Arcana cards from the Tarot. In order of size:

Magician I, II & III (LV-T series engine(s))

Fool, Fool XL & Fool XXL (Solid first stages of various sizes)

Strength I & II (Skipper main engine)

Chariot I, II & III (Mainsail main engine(s))

Empress I & IIB (Kerbodyne Advanced (Rhino) main engine & SRBs for the IIB)

Emperor I, II, III & IV-Heavy (Mammoth main engine & LRBs in the III and IV-Heavy variants)

Upper stages use the same name if they use the same engine as a launch stage (The Strength-US is common), otherwise are:

Hermit (Spark main engine, x1 Round 8 & x1 Orscar-b tanks and x2 separatrons for deorbit)

Temperance-US (Spark main engine, Size-1 fuel tank, probe core & battery for deorbit)

Justice-US (Terrier main engine, Size-1 fuel tank, probe core & battery for deorbit)

World-US (AKA WUS) (Poodle main engine; size-2 tanks; reaction wheels, batteries & a mechjeb box for control & deorbit)

Fortune-US (Same as World other than huge Size-3 tanks. More for launching awkward payloads & interplanetary missions)

Nothing else has such a consistent naming scheme, unless you count my spelling of "probe" as "probbe". Then, my various "Mun Probbe", "Ion Lander Probbe" and so on alongside my unoriginal "Scansat", "Cluttersat" and "Simplesat" satellite names are my second most consistent. :)

Edited by moogoob
forgot an upper stage :p
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I typically use Greek history and myth. It's something I've been interested in since I first watched Clash of the Titans (1981) as a kid.

I use this system as well. I look at a craft's purpose and find a part of mythology that suits it. The hunt for the perfect name is a fun part of it for me, having studied Greek and Latin in high school. The Greek/Roman mythology contains magnificent stories.

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I tend to prefix my craft with (part of) the name of the body they're intended for.

KerXXX for Kerbin

MinXXX for Minmus

DunXXX for Duna

JoolXXX for Jool

etc. etc.

Then something to indicate their function.

Yut for stations (in honour of the Salyut series of course, the first long term manned space stations. Keryut 1 is thus the first station in orbit around Kerbin, Dunyut 3 would be the third around Duna.

ComSat obviously comms satellites.

ScanSat resource scanners.

etc. etc.

Sometimes though I make up some funny/funky name. Like the first manned Duna mission in my current save which I dubbed DuhDuhDuna :)

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Most of my rockets and planes have made up on the spot names. If I feel they have a significance I keep the name and name later crafts with similar missions after them. For example, when I first played the game and was trying to get too the mun, I decided to name the first rocket the Jebediah I, because I heard back then how awesome he was. On about the seventh edition, I finally got there and returned from the mun (Yay!). After that, when I started playing career, I named all my mun-destined craft after Jebediah again. It's stuck with me ever since.

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I usually go with the generic R-xxx for final rocket designs, adding to that a short mission description so I could for example have R-017 Minmus 2 sent after R-017 Minmus 1, a crewed mission to Minmus or R-009 Mun Rover 1. Saving partial rockets like main lifting stages with names equally generic where LL-xxx, ML-xxx and HL-xxx would mean light, medium and heavy lifter respectively. Special designs follow a similar pattern, sounding rockets are SR-xxx, test rigs are X-xxx and so on. I might add a letter to the name too if the design is a minor variation of another (more science parts for instance) so I could have R-017b if I change the original 017 slightly.

Makes it very easy to find the rocket I need for a particular mission if I have one already fit for the job.

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I name them after their purpose and often add the main design iteration / patch level. "Moon Lander 2.4", "Orbital Shuttle Mk 1", "Orbital Lifter B 20t", "Duna Lander 23.9 :huh:", ect.

And if I try something new, I add the suffix "X" for "eXperimental", like "Orbital Cargo Hauler SSTO X1".

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I tried following Greco-Roman naming conventions, but there's a temptation to start naming things after real-life rockets (Thor, Atlas, Titan, Saturn, Juno, etc) and this becomes confusing after awhile. Also, the fact that these are things made by Kerbals and not humans, feels awkward when you stick a non-Kerbally name on it. But without knowing more about Kerbal history and mythology, it's difficult to do otherwise without the time to spend writing that kind of backstory.

In my current Career mode game, I've got a convention going where I assign a Zodiac constellation to each planet or moon. Mun missions are 'Virgo' (in honor of the alternate-universe 'Virgo 2' mission to the Moon referenced in Fallout 3), so there would be Virgo-1, Virgo-2, Virgo-3, etc. Minmus missions are titled 'Aquarius-#'; my soon-to-be-launched Eve/Gilly explorer ship will be the first 'Capricorn' mission (let's hope the Kerbals aboard 'Capricorn-1' fare better than their terrestrial cinematic counterparts!). Aircraft/aerospace craft have a nickname and a letter designation, starting with 'S-#' for scout, 'X-#' for experimental, 'R-#' for reconnaissance, 'T-#' for trainer, 'O-#' for orbital transport; once I start getting into BD Armory a little more, I might commission some A-#/F-#/B-#.

I also have a role-playing thing where Valentina likes to rename whatever ship she's on a 'Ladybug-#' immediately after launch, frustrating the bosses and PR folks at Mission Control no end. :-)

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My naming system is completely random. I have a rocket system I call the Blackhawk lifter. Probes and satellites generally are named for their purpose (Global Surveyor Satellite, Spectral Imaging Probe, etc...) I had a rover on the moon named Foreseer because it was the first probe to the Mun. It went before my first crewed mission there. My first Jool probe is called Explorer 1. My Munar Lander series is named the Excelsior. In general, my aircraft are named with a purpose designation and build number (X= Experimental, R= Reconnaissance, C= Cargo, etc... 1= first design, 2= second, so on)

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I did have one sandbox game where I named my missions after cheeses, in honour of Nick Park's A Grand Day Out. After the Wensleydale series (Mun of course), the Emmental Probe took my first peek at the Mohole, then Halloumi I and Halloumi II took a toasting at Kerbol (Halloumi I was a stress-test, Halloumi II returned). Big Cheese took a range of smaller probes to Jool, I forget some of the probes but there was a Babybel and a Dairy Lea... well, you get it.

Edited by The_Rocketeer
typo
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Standard Rocket _____ for manned shops

Standard satellite for contract satellites

Standard Probe ______ _ for interplanetary probes. All have the name of the planet they are visiting and a number

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If it's a kerballed mssion, it's just the mission purpose - Mun, Minmus, Duna, Orbiter, Rescue, Crew Shuttle.

If it's a probe, then 'explorer' means it'll land on a body, 'sat' means it'll orbit and send back science, 'scan' means it's got some sort of scanning equipment on it. Late game I also build 'pioneers,' that just means ion engines and RTGs.

If it's in relation to a space station, it alsways has the suffix 'lab'. So Kerlab, Munlab, Minlab, Dunlab, etc.

Everything has version numbers in roman numerals.

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Untitled Space Craft

Always

Glad I'm not the first to check in with this answer. The majority of my ships launch with this title.

If I'm feeling particularly creative, I sometimes name them. "Rocket", "Big Rocket", and "Really Big Rocket" are names I've used. No trademark on those, feel free to use as you wish..

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