Gyrothesia

How do you come up with ideas for names of missions?

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A lot of people have really cool names for their rockets, and I was just curious. Is it just something that sounded cool, or is it a word in Latin/Greek/etc?

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I generally name my missions with some relation to their goal (Munseer for the flyby/tourism, Munstrider for landing), spaceplanes are usually after birds or flying animals from mythology or books/films/games, and space stations are usually named after locations from books/films/games. In general, most of my missions end up as references to other media.

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My rockets are divided into a payload section and a booster section.  For boosters, I always use greek letters for the class name (Alpha, Beta, Delta, Gamma...).  Modified/upgraded versions get a letter tacked on (Gamma A, Gamma B).  These booster sections are saved as subassemblies.

For payload sections, manned command pods get names from a common theme, which changes with each playthrough.  In my current career game that's ships from Elite: Dangerous.  Probes and satellites are less creative.  Contract satellites are just named for the contracting organization plus a sequential number:  Zaltonic 2 is the second satellite launched for Zaltonic, for example.  Probes get a name that describe what they do - "Duna Surveyor" is a SCANsat/science probe for Duna. 

So the final, full name is payload section + booster section.  "Zaltonic 2 Alpha" would be the name of the second satellite for Zaltonic, and launched using an Alpha booster.

Edited by JetJaguar

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Several of mine I've borrowed from the game I was playing before I got KSP (Jabbit series 1.25m launchers, Nexus series 3.75m reusable launchers & Pumera SSTO), the other rockets are either from real life (my Titan 1.875m series) or just came up with something to fit in (Olympic 2.5m launchers).  Those names get used for Kerbin SoI vessels mostly - most of my launchers are saved as subassemblies, so I just grab say an "Olympic 2 LV" subassembly & stick it under what I'm building, then name it "Olympic (whatever mission I'm doing)"

Most interplanetary vessels - especially probes - just get names for where they are going.  The craft files usually get saved as "planetary comm relay mark _" or "Planetary lander probe mark _" that get updated to new mark #'s as new tech becomes available.  Then I just change the name before launch to "Eve comm relay mark 2" or whatever.   Although most of those use the same subassembly launch vehicles, I keep them all names "Planetary ______" to keep them all together in the load window.

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Oh Im such a dork. I've got this string of poets going, TS Elliot, Mark Strand, Anne Sexton, etc. Flags are all fictional characters from dorky books. Minmus is Harry Potter, The Mun is LOTR, Duna is ASOIAF. And then I've got a bunch of randos like my tug "Trash cat", "Tanky Tanky" and "Dunabago".

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Terribly and boringly. Here's the craft files from my most recent game. The most creative I got was to name ships that satisfy the "docking" contract to be called "dokker" instead of "docker." And "Prover" as a portmanteau of Probe and Rover. Wow I'm so creative.

Orbit 1.craft
Orbit 2.craft
Mun 2.craft
Mun 3.craft
Rescue 1.craft
Satellite 1.craft
SuperMun.craft
Mun Lander 1.craft
Satellite 2.craft
Dokker 1.craft
Dokker 2.craft
Dokker 3.craft
Minmus 1.craft
Minmus 2.craft
Minmus Station 1.craft
Minmus Science Lander.craft
Minmus Relay.craft
Duna Flyby.craft
Duna Flyby - Ike Orbit.craft
Minmus Ore Scanner.craft
Minmus 4-Bagger.craft
Ike Relay Sat.craft
Ike Prover.craft
Ike 2_0.craft
Tourist Trap 1.craft
Minmus Lander 2_0.craft
Minmus Lander 2_1.craft
Parachute Coupler.craft
Ike Dokker.craft
Ike 3_0.craft

 

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My Apollo style missions were (creatively) named Kerbollo, while I’m developing a theme of naming space stations after deceased Kerbals.

My Mercury missions were named Moho while my Gemini missions were called Jebidi.

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From movies and inspiration from cool names mostly:

Early Kerbin space probes: Vanguard 1 through 4

KeoSat, Cubesat and NavCom are my communication satellites

Mün and Minmus exploration probes: Resilience 1 through 6

Interplanetary probes: Pilgrim (ongoing)

1.25m launchers: Vega I, III, Vega Heavy, Korigo 33-S

2.5m launchers: Vitus I through IV, Olympian 1-5, Korigo 55-S

3.75m launchers: Sirius 2B, 3, 3B, 4, 4S+, Hurricane Heavy, Kerbal Interplanetary Launch System Blocks 1 and 2

1.25m capsules: EV-1A, B, C, Mu, Calista

2.5m capsules: EV-2A, B, Sagittarius, Mu II, Calista DX

Interplanetary ship (in orbital construction): Trinity DTV

 

Edited by SiriusRocketry

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3 hours ago, 5thHorseman said:

Terribly and boringly.

You aint kidding.  But there is something to be said about clear and concise labeling.    And what is to be said is that it is boring. 

 

When I'm stumped I just use this:

Spaceship name generator

 

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Haha, that name generator will come in handy. 

1 hour ago, Gargamel said:

You aint kidding.  But there is something to be said about clear and concise labeling.    And what is to be said is that it is boring. 

 

When I'm stumped I just use this:

Spaceship name generator

 

1
Edited by Gyrothesia

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I like to choose a historical name from a similar mission, then add the letter K.

Manned craft become Merkury, Kermini, Kerpollo, Kolumbia, Kerblab, and KSS, while unmanned craft are Kersplorer, Kerboneer, Kerbidium, K-train, etc..

Also everything launched (or crashed) gets an accurate sequence number thanks to Project Manager which is amazingly easy to use! :)

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Mine are painfully named. 

[Body][Contractor][Orbit/Rover][Antenna]

where the body is the body to be orbited (except Kerbin itself), the contractor is whoever commissioned the mission in the Command Center, whatever special orbit information applies like being polar or retrograde or Keosynchronous or if it's a lander/rover it gets that tag instead. The last bit is the antenna, direct or relay that the unit has on it. 

So, I end up with the ever so slightly dull, MunJebPolarRelay, or DunaProboRetroDirect. Exceptions are for my USI-MKS supply or base ships, which get a [Body][Component] tag, and since 90% of my recent MKS efforts have been to Minmus, most of them look like MinmusMatKitDelivery or MinmusLogiBase.

Boring, I know, but effective in keeping track of my constellation of repositionable relay and package ships.

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5 hours ago, Gyrothesia said:

Haha, that name generator will come in handy. 

Yeah, it's pretty useful when you're stumped.   It also has dozens and dozens of other categories of random names. 

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<name of celestial body> + "Mission".

Hey, it gets the job done.  ;)

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5 minutes ago, Snark said:

<name of celestial body> + "Mission".

Hey, it gets the job done.  ;)

For me, it depends. But the easiest names are for the unKermanned missions. Probe based missions are always named for the destination, for example : Jool Explorer I, Jool Polar Explorer II, etc.

On 5/24/2018 at 10:26 PM, Gyrothesia said:

A lot of people have really cool names for their rockets, and I was just curious. Is it just something that sounded cool, or is it a word in Latin/Greek/etc?

For me when it comes to Kermaned missions, I prefer Mayan. I prefer Mayan based names that describe the mission's purpose or main goal. It's not common on the forum... :D

Edited by adsii1970

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5 minutes ago, adsii1970 said:

For me, it depends. But the easiest names are for the unKermanned missions. Probe based missions are always named for the destination, for example : Jool Explorer I, Jool Polar Explorer II, etc.

Actually, my own naming strategy is pretty close to that.  The first unmanned probe to a planet (or moon) is always called "<celestial body name> Pioneer".  The first orbital mineral scanner is named "<celestial body name> Surveyor".  Crewed ship is "<celestial body name> I", unless it's a fancy mothership-and-lander design, in which case it's just "<celestial body name> Mission".  Comsats are named "Comsat <generation> <identifying letter>", e.g. Comsat Ia, Comsat Ib, etc., until I get the next tech level up and it's Comsat IIa, Comsat IIb, etc.  Main interplanetary relay for a planet is called "<celestial body name> Relay".

I gave up having original-sounding ship names long ago.  Too many careers, and too many ships within a career; if I gave them cool-sounding original names, I'd never be able to keep them straight.  There's no way I'd remember "Okay, which one was that again?"  So I give them simple, brutally functional names so that I never have to remember anything-- it's totally clear from the name what it does and where it's going.

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46 minutes ago, adsii1970 said:

Probe based missions are always named for the destination, for example : Jool Explorer I, Jool Polar Explorer II, etc.

I tend to use "off the shelf" designs for my probes.  So I'll build the 'Explorer' series of probes.  It'll have 5k dv from an Ion drive, all the science, and a resource scanner.  And then I'll launch one when a transfer window comes up, with Launch Numbering slapping a mission number on the end.   And then I'll decide I want to launch all my probes around the same time, and then forget which ones I tasked for what mission.   System needs some revision. 

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Grab a handful and toss. It's all a crap-shoot anyway. ;)

 

Word-Yahtzee-Wallpaper.jpg

Edited by LordFerret
I'm kidding of course!

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I literally just stare at it a bit until something comes to me.

Or I'll run through some names in my head until one just "sounds right."

If it sounds right, it is right!

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1 hour ago, LordFerret said:

Grab a handful and toss. It's all a crap-shoot anyway. ;)

 

Word-Yahtzee-Wallpaper.jpg

I'm concerned as to how you fit all those dice in your hand.

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My constructions name themselves. Yeah, sure, maybe that sounds crazy, but only because I said it like that.
They ALL start out as g7sgr*H!$ or something facetious, because I know it will tell me its name during testing if it hasn't already, by looks alone.

Surveyor/scanner to Minmus? Mint Prospectre. ....To Duna? Dusty Prospectre.
Mobile base on Mun? Mobile Operations Mun was far too boring, so Mom it is!
Dropping a science-y rover on Eve? Needing so many moar boosters, I called it Essar Bean. Get it? x]
Seaplane exceeding expectations? Must be a Soarcerer!

Well, maybe I am little crazy, but so are you when trying to...

17 hours ago, Gargamel said:

launch all my probes around the same time, and then forget which ones I tasked for what mission

And you must not be using the craft descriptions for their intended purpose if...

17 hours ago, Snark said:

There's no way I'd remember "Okay, which one was that again?"  So I give them simple, brutally functional names so that I never have to remember anything

This one is kinda cheat-y! But... what if there is no historical analog? I just name replicas what they were in real life.

On 5/25/2018 at 11:58 PM, Blasty McBlastblast said:

I like to choose a historical name from a similar mission, then add the letter K.

This cat has the right idea! I guess one is an orbital organizer, two hauls fuel by the Tonnes and the last one is a mobile base or bigS rover...

On 5/25/2018 at 4:57 PM, Pthigrivi said:

then I've got a bunch of randos like my tug "Trash cat", "Tanky Tanky" and "Dunabago".

I know, I know! It's so hard to be creative when you just spent the last (however long) on a coordinated, focused path of--- uh... ahem... creativity. Just don't name it at all. Test it as a random number for its name at first, then pay very close attention to your new prototype... Does it look vaguely familiar? like something you've seen elsewhere in life? Does it do anything odd or unique among your other constructions? Perhaps you might use the answers to name the craft in question. I often find myself scheming scenarios during testing and that has been the breeziest time naming things. Associations with other craft or locations are definitely the next best thing, admittedly. For instance, I just finished up a variant of Soarcerer to haul passengers, so I called it Soarcerer's Apprentice. It came to me so-named, even as I put new parts on. That's not too complicated, right? Flying it is magical, but it just can't hold a candle to the power of the predecessor. 

P.S. The sentence before this holds a few randoms too though, if you're not too picky. Magik Kandle (rocket?), Power and Predecessor (interplanetary station with an onboard, volatile dropship, perhaps?

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3 hours ago, LordFerret said:

Grab a handful and toss. It's all a crap-shoot anyway. ;)

 

Word-Yahtzee-Wallpaper.jpg

Is it just me?

But the first thing I did when i saw that image was  look for rude words, I bet the profanity filter struggles with a photo of the word "####"

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5 hours ago, Gyrothesia said:

I'm concerned as to how you fit all those dice in your hand.

Are you insinuating I'm not normal? :huh:

6a015394069e98970b0167666ef5d1970b-800wi

 

 

 

You should see my keyboard, and phone.

Edited by LordFerret

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First off, all of my ships are classified by a theme name, followed by Mk# for each iteration.  I kind of mix up my themes.  In my current save game, I name all my planes after birds, so the tiny jets I made to do basic science early game are the Hummingbird Mk1 or Hummingbird Mk2.  If I have a specific version of each, then I denote that.  For example, if my plane has a science module on it, it becomes the Hummingbird Mk1S.  If it has a crew cabin, it becomes the Hummingbird Mk1P, etc.  I am naming my orbiters and landers after famous explorers, so my Mun and Minmus craft are iterations of Drake 1 (I dropped the Mk to fit more with the Apollo style), after Sir Francis Drake.  My rescue/crew ferry craft are in the Hermes series, with a number next to it denoting crew capacity.  So the Hermes 7 Mk1 is the first iteration of a vessel that can carry 7 kerbals.  My space stations are so far named whatever I think sounds cool, so my Mun station is called Atlas Station.  Most of my other craft are just named by a fancy, cool-sounding word that describes what they do.  My CommSats are the Liaison series, my unmanned probes are the Investigator series, etc.

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In my game my main goal is not exploration but bases and infrastructure, so I usually come up with a lot of cool names for my bases and utility vehicles. Some have just names, e.g. Blue Nova, Daydream Terminal. Some have a name and a designation: ‘Aquilla’ Starbus, ‘Providence’ Heavy Freighter, ‘Rhodeo’ Industrial Skycrane. I even name captured asteroids starting with the letter corresponding to their class, for example: Artifex, Bismuth, Calfaro, Dolores, Enoqi. Before naming I usually just brainstorm several names, no particular theme, whatever catches my fancy. Sometimes I manage to come up with abbreviated names, e.g. Distant Worlds Observer = DiWO

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