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How Do You Name Your Craft?


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A good method can be to pick a specific theme and stick with it for everything. For example, in my Constellation-style playthrough I've been naming each vehicle after a different constellation (apart from the launch vehicles). I've mostly stuck with modern constellations so far, though the Mun base I'm constructing is called Deltoton and I'll probably use a few other ancient constellations as well.

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I name craft according to their functionality. It is supposed to land on the Mun? Call it "Mun Lander"!

It's not very creative, but it works. All my satellites in Kerbin's SOI (including Mun and Minmus) are called "Satellite" followed by a roman digit. For example "Satellite XVII" for the 17th satellite.

For interplanetary ones, I chose the more creative name "I-Comm", which is the newest product published by Apple stands for "Interplanetary Communication (Satellite)".

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I have several naming conventions for this career. Early in this play-through I attempted a stock Dragon-like capsule that I dubbed the Pseudo-Dragon. Any of my follow-on landers I've continued to name after dragons in tribute to Dark Lord Elon, so 'Smaug', 'Tiamat' etc. I have a Rapier-based Buck Rodgers style tail-sitter SSTO. It's an air-breather, so not a real dragon, so I went with Wyvern.

I enjoy putting large reusable craft in orbit then swapping crews in and out. These I name after the sailing vessels from the age of discovery, and by extension our former shuttles. Discovery has been running around the Kerbin SOI for a while now and is kitting up for the next Duna window. Endeavour is in final design for launch, shakedown, then Eve.

For my refuelling ops I have a couple robot tankers unimaginatively dubbed Exxon I & II that I use to drag fuel down to LKO from Minimus. Then there's my poor abused miners who will spend their entire existence repeatedly hauling ore up the hill and never truly tasting the fruits of their labor -- Sisyphus and Tantalus.

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I typically use recursive acronyms. For a few comm sat examples:

Minmus Interactive Network Management Universal Satellite

Mun Universal Network

Kerbin External Redundant Binary Interactive Network

Each of these spells out the name of the planet, but also includes the name of the planet. These are, of course, followed by numerical designations so that I can distinct individual satellites from one another.

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I generally have some sort of naming system and also try and have the names imply the order of development. In my current save my first 'wave' of craft were all named after musicians or groups and in alphabetical order, so the very first was Aerosmith, then Basshunter, and so on. Then I've reset to A but have been adding ship-style prefixes (RSN = Rocket Ship Nuclear, RL = Rocket Lander, etc) as my space program gets a bit more elaborate.

Sometimes I'll name a 'program' and give individual ships numbers in it, for example Pele 1, Pele 2, etc from my New Horizons save. That's more likely if I'm playing no-reverts because that means I'll have canonical failed missions and need to do repeats, whereas if I'm playing with reverts I just hit F9 and try again with the same ship.

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Based in what I've read here in the forums, I follow a system that have launch vehicles names, missions designations and spacecrafts names (if any).

The launch vehicles are separated in families according to core diameter and the members of a family are classificated with roman numbers.

Missions are designated in accordance of the type of spacecraft they are launching and the number of that launch.
a)Contract Satellite
b)Comunication Satellite

Spacecrafts can receive unique names if I see fit (size, complexity and importance determines if it will receive a name or not).

So, an exemple:

Alpha III - Discovery 6 - Hipparchus | Light Launch Vehicle family with upgrades for added capability - sixth probe mission - a large mapping probe containing all SCANsat scanners.

Alternatively you can save the Launch Vehicle as a sub assembly a give its nane there, the spacecraft as normal craft save, and use only the mission name as a 'craft' name after the final assembly (prior launch).

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When I have to name a plane, I alway use the name of a bird(or a variation of it).

In example, I named my newest plane "chocking swallow" becaude its wings was loosely formed like the wings of a swallow and that it had the elevator control surface at the front.

The placement of the elevators made it look like it had tried to swallow something but failed to do so and had something looking like wings stuck in his neck, cartoon style.


When it come to rockets, it depend of the purpose of it.

When the craft is meant to be a module of another project(like a space station), I simply name it by its purpose; in the other cases, I go by the inspiration of the moment.

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I name my crafts inside Kerbin's SOI a after their functions ( Minmus lander, Mun rover...)

However, for other planets, I have my own convention:

Each planet's probes get related to a chemical element, and all the sub probes or relays are named about things concerning this element. Example: my Duna probe is named Rubidium, and all the 6 relays it laid are rubidium+halogen ions. Yes, including astatine and even tenessine!

My rovers are named after minerals, such as Goethite, Galena, Barite.

My interplanetary ships are mythological figures (Prometheus...)

Finally: I give my station names concerning the body they orbit.

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I name my general   manned   kerbaled missions after aviation, maritime, and other general disasters... Columbia, Titanic, Challenger, Fitzgerald (after the sunk Edmund Fitzgerald), Gilly Vanilli (after the   singing   lip synching group Milli Vanilli)... You know... Disasters! That way, my mission can only be the same or better! :D

My unkerbaled vessels are usually named by way of puns or word play, or occasionally after real satellites, like Sputnik.

Edited by richfiles
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If I'm making a tower lander, it's some version of Arkingthaad.  If it's a round flat plate with fifty to a hundred engines or higher, it's an AEIA (An Exercise in Absurdity) MkWhatever.  If it's a big rover, it's a Whackamo.  If it's something else, it's a Brick.

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I follow a little system.

First I put some mission code like

IOTAX (galileo mod's closest moon is Iota. X is for Expeditionary.) and some mission number.

ISS would be Iota Space Station.

SAT-(two letters). First letter depicts size. Like A would be something below 2 tons. Second letter for type of task. Comms relay, sci-lander, grand tour. Etc.

Manned stuff gets two letters and random numbers. Still have to figure if I give numbers meaning - but these also tend to get fancy kerby code names.

The second letter obviously defines the general role. 

J is for support. Like refueling.

C is commercial, for doing transports like Airplane related contracts from contract pack mods.

There are other roles but I can't remember right now. 

Rovers usually get RR. Only recently did I manage to get the Bon Voyage mode to work, and now rovers have an awesome purpose. One can launch a mini SCUD back to Gael/Kerbin. Filmed it too :3.


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I name them most of them about what it is for or what it is like:

Plane 4

Fighter jet VTOL

Microbase 1

Microbase 1 ISRU

And some others have "normal" names like:

Taco escape pod

SharkSub 1

More crap (Yes even that)

And last but not least:

Untitled Space Craft

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I have the persons corporation with the design number and then the nickname. something like : (SRMS)-11 "Knifejack" or (ASFA)-20 "Croc" No idea how i come up with the nicknames, it just feels like i should name them that.

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