Jump to content

How do you Name your Vessels/missions?

Recommended Posts

I usually name satellites like this :orbiting body + orbiter 1 or 2 or whatever.

Space stations have always been KSS ( Kerbal Space Station). I only made one in LKO, tough.

Probes get awesome names like Traveller 1.

And interplanetary manned ships are named like this: IPX ( InterPlanetary eXplorer) + random name e.g. IPX Pioneer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I kinda tend to flip-flop between naming schemes. The least confusing are the descriptive ones: "Mun Lander 2", followed by abbreviated names: "HTT-1", followed by slight changes to normal names: "Arbiter" instead of "Orbiter."

And, if I just don't care, I pick 3 or 4 random words: "Deadly Unicorn Force Field," "Alley Cat Assault Wagon," etc.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of my names are acronyms in the Kerbal style- the HORSE (Heavy objective recoverable stage engine) and MOOSE (Massive orbital objective stage engine) are my go-to recoverable liquid fuel booster parts.

Other names are obvious references to science- the Knewton spacecraft.

Most of the rest are from B movies. "Hard Ticket to Hawaii" gave me the "Molokai" light space plane, the "Dona" spacecraft, and the "Taryn" heavy SSTO.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I use some kind of kerballized MDS designation based off these... with more descriptors for fuel types and how many stages the rockets has, among a couple...



I also include a separate three-digit number for the launch vehicle.

ex. Z100-RL 1A is a balloon (lighter-than-air, Z) (1st balloon design, model revision 0, subconfig 0) launching a Research-mission crewed-Lander (1st lander, series A).

This technically separates all my vehicles by launch system & payload, unless there is no payload... in which case, I get something like... HEH122 (SearcH & Rescue-mission Electric-motor-powered Helicopter [1st helicopter, model 2, subconfig 2]).

My theory behind this was being able to tell if a satellite or probe was the same design as another, even if a different launch vehicle was used. It also clearly states which launch vehicle was used, which can also show which missions launched different payloads with the same vehicle.

As for the codename, I have no real system, although my Mun-bots are typically named after Greek and Roman mythology. The balloon above is named the Cloudchaser. My first Mun orbiter is always Athena, while my first Mun lander is always Minerva.

I'll append some kind of mission code when necessary, though I haven't really figured out a system that works (do I want culmative numbers? SOI total numbers? individual mission numbers? Should the names be open or restricted to some kind of descriptor?)... I suppose once the mission is launched, I could throw the vehicle name in brackets or something too... ex LKOM-1 'Node Alpha' (LD104-ES 1B 'Slingshot') for a low-orbit communication network satellite... (should the vehicle codename be omitted, especially if it has a mission nickname?)...

Edited by Nitrous Oxide
Link to post
Share on other sites

I try to go Category--> Name --> iteration

category goes by- LF=lifter, RVR-rover, SAT- satellite, PR-probe, SSN-space station, UTX-utility(fuel resupply), etc just to name a few, this keeps the crafts organized and easy to find.

name- usually whatever sounds fit, for launchers tho I tend to use Titan, Ares, or Delta. for other stuff its jts by the mission so the mun i would use altiar or apollo on occasion

iteration- just values different version, lifters go by how much they can lift, spacecraft by version

yeah, sometimes for contracts i just get lazy and name them mun lander 1

so for example I would say, "UTX-Cygnus I"

Edited by manatee321
Link to post
Share on other sites

Only for vehicles that did at least 1 Orbit: Year-Number,Letter(if needed) Name Iteration Letter(if needed)

Example: 002-005c IntelSat I B

That means: It's the third orbiting part © of the fifth launch (005) in year 2 (002). It's the first (I) iteration of my spy sattelite "Intelsat". And the second in a constellation (B) of 3.

The other two being called "002-005b IntelSat I A" and "002-005d IntelSat I C".

The discrepancy in the letter behind the launch number and the letter of the constellation exists because I get really ocd.

Before I decouple parts that are going to be debris, that can't be deorbited, I rename the ship.

In this case the upper stage could not be deorbited because it had no control.

So i renamed it "002-005a IntelSat I Debris" before I decoupled it.

Edited by Baenki
Link to post
Share on other sites

Planes usually get named based on their purpose ("Crew Transport Spaceplane," "Research Jet," etc.) or after birds ("Falkon II," "Wild Goose I," etc.).

Small, low-tech orbital probes are usually named after root vegetables ("Spudtato I," "Rutabaga III," etc.), due to a misconception in my youth that "Sputnik" was Russian for "potato." More advanced ones, typically with ion engines, are called "Wayfarer" until they reach their destination, at which point they're renamed "Mofarer," "Evefarer," "Munfarer," etc., unless I happen to think of a funny appropriate alternate title ("Dunroamin" in orbit around Duna, and "Eisenhower" in orbit around Ike).

Early short-range spaceships are usually named after a historical astronomer ("Tycho III," etc.) or based on their purpose ("Munshot I," "Minshot II," "Science Transport Shuttle," etc.).

Ships designed specifically for picking up stranded kerbalnauts are generally some variant on "St. Christopher," patron of travelers and ferrymen.

Huge interplanetary spaceships are named on a case-by-case basis, but usually after a large majestic or mythical bird (the "Albatross II," the "Phoenix III) or something about journeys (the "Voyager I" is my current big project), and always carry a crew lander (called the "___ Lander") and a probe lander (called the "___ Probe"). When such a ship finishes its mission and returns home, I bring the crew and science data down to the surface in a shuttle of some sort and leave the ship itself in high Kerbin orbit, renamed "_____ Museum."

Huge interplanetary cargo tugs are named after the development line they spun off from; for example, the Phoenix III stripped of its lab, crew quarters, and landers became the P3-Class Atomic Drive. In 0.25 I built five or six of them for hauling various orbital stations, ground bases, and spaceplanes to destinations all over the solar system.

Orbital stations are "[planet/moon] Orbital Command" or "[planet/moon] Refueling Station," depending on primary purpose. Ground bases are "[planet/moon]base [Greek letter]," e.g. "Munbase Alpha" or "Minbase Beta," with certain exceptions--the one on Duna intended to be home base for a particularly sporty car was "Red Rover Outpost," and an identical setup on Laythe was "Blue Rover Outpost."

Small craft built in sets of several I usually theme-name based on how many there are. A pair of small ion-drive satellites launched simultaneously were "Gemini Alpha" and "Gemini Beta"; seven tiny parachute probes currently being dropped into Eve's atmosphere by the Voyager I are named after the ancient cities that built the Seven Wonders of the World: "V1-Alexandria," "V1-Babylon," etc.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm really terrible with names, I just tend to use whatever comes to mind at the time. I usually use the same name across multiple vessels in a project, for example, Selene 1 through 9 for my mun program, 1 being the original flyby probe, 5 being the first lander, 9 being the final re-usable lander design which would dock to my Mun station, Theia. Breaking out the greek mythology, because yay for shameless clichés :P

My attempts at building spaceplanes are usually called Heisenberg. It's entirely uncertain whether it will work or not. I tend to lean towards "not" though.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I usually name my SSTOs after fish, where the bigger SSTOs are named after bigger fish. Normally they start out as 'Skunkworks '________' SSTO Prototype'. Then, once certified, I rename it 'Panther Corp. '_________' SSTO'. For example, the Panther Corp. 'Carp' SSTO is a Mk2 SSTO, with some cargo room. Since I have no idea how large a carp is compared to other fish, a renaming may be required..,

Any Duna missions are named after Greek epics, like the 'Odyssey' Duna Expedition.

Sattelites usually have generic names, such as KethSat, for a Kethane scanning one, ComSat for communications, etc.

Since I usually don't dabble in the realm of other missions too much right now, that's all I have...


Link to post
Share on other sites

I name my vessel according to where they go with gods names of different mythology, with few exceptions:

Moho : Egyptian Mythology

Eve : Pre-Columbian Mythology

Duna: Hindu mythology

Jool: Greek/Roman mythology

Dres: Celtic mythology

Eeloo, Kerbol and beyond : Norse mythology

Kerbin and moons : everything else and whatever that comes to my mind :P

In fact, I launched so few missions (especially to Moho and Eve) that this system is still not systematic. Also, I say I have some exceptions, like for my mapping missions, which is named Atlas, my system of "Stargate" (a kind of hyperspace endpoints that must be set into space) named Janus, "the god of beginnings and transitions, and thereby of gates, doors, doorways, passages and endings", and other missions that don't follow this system (like my IOn Motor EXperiment probe)

Edited by rocket11
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm (filing chapter 11) playing through career mode as the Umbrella Corporation (have a flag and everything!), so my prefixes are:

UCXS-x (Umbrella Corp eXperimental Ship, for rockets I don't have proof will get to orbit yet :P)

UCS (UC Ship, whatever strikes my fancy at the time)

UCCS (UC Communications Satellite, named after things that observe, like Beholder, or Sphinx)

UCXAC-x (UC eXperimental AirCraft)

UCAC (UC AirCraft, whatever strikes my fancy at the time)

UCOSS (UC Orbital Space Station, with names of states (UCOSS Oregon))

More as I get out of Kerbin's SOI! :P

Edited by Venusgate
Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends on the mission. I like using using the names of figures in Greek and Roman mythology for manned landers and surface bases. For example, I named my landers for my recent Duna explorations Ares I and Ares II.

Planes get named similarly to US military fighters, though instead of "F" I use "E", e.g. E-14, E-18, etc.

Craft specifically designed for part testing missions either get named something humorous and off-color or something overly technical, like "PLT-0673241".

Satellites are sometimes named like my landers, or sometimes named after their orbits, i.e. "Polar Express I", "Lunar Express I".

And sometimes I just name them the first thing that pops into my head. Like my rover I built for Duna. I called it the Duna Buggy. :D

Link to post
Share on other sites


Equivalent real world mission, e.g. Apollo, Mariner, Viking, Pioneer.


Probe orbiter: bird, e.g. a Chaffinch class small probe, Osprey class heavy science package, or Dove class mapping satellite.

Probe lander: insect, e.g. Cricket class light lander, Beetle class rover.

Crewed lander: mammal, e.g. Fox class 1-man lander, Bear class 3-man, Cougar class dropship with Badger rover in the cargo bay.

Results in fun names like Viking Bear, Apollo Fox and Mariner Cricket while still being recognisable (to me) from the name :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Until recently I didn't do names other than simply 'minmus 01' etc.

Now I have started naming ships 'properly' I found it helps with identification and ads a little extra depth to my own game experience.

My system is fairly simple...

eg. Duna - XK - 01 - Gagarin.

The 'Duna - XK' indicate the intended planetary body and primary function (X= explorer, K= crew capable) these are used in VAB/SPH too. The number is obviously to differentiate between multiple sister vessels.

The 'name' is given to ships (other than small probes and rovers etc.) are the names ( Gagarin, Armstrong etc.) of astronauts from a popular Kerbal Sci Fi TV series called 'Space Race' used in order if their first spaceflight. Although the name of a deceased Kerbal will take priority - consequently I still haven't used Gagarin yet, but it won't be long.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My ships i just give fantasy names (often animals) that fit their role.

The mission name then consists of: Shipname-4Letter-Acronym, Mission Acronym, Incrementing number

So, if Skyfox were sent on a refuelling mission, the mission name might be: SFOX-FUEL-01

Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to name missions based on destination or capacity (in terms of destinations for general use craft), but since Contracts, I go with the somewhat mundane (no pun intended) contract title. This becomes more important if I end up with several active missions with multiple craft orbiting the object in question. If its the same/ similar contract later and I accept it, I simply add a sequential number to the name.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I usually just name my vessels random stuff I find on the internet or names that come to my mind. Like, for example I have a Kerbin orbiter craft named "Rosin", which I named after Michael Rosin the author. I have a craft named the "Yveltal" after the legendary pokemon from Pokemon Y. And when I finally build an SSTO in my career game, I already have a witty name picked out for it, the "Aether-On", a parody on the word aileron.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Stations I don't name until they get up there - usually get called Kerbstation 4 or somesuch if in Kerbin orbit. Otherwise named by purpose - Minmus Station, Munar refueling depot etc.

I have standard names for launchers and upper stages based around 1. the Major Arcana of the tarot and 2. what engines they use. A Magician II light launch vehicle uses a LV-T45 (and appropriate fuel tanks) and usually a Temperence US upper stage with the little orange Rockomax to push the satellite into orbit. The Emperor IV Heavy on the other hand uses the NASA 2-engine cluster with x4 LFBs (2 hooked up asparagus-like and dropped) as the first stage, the Empress US with a Kerbodyne Advanced as the second stage and usually a skipper-powered Strength US upper stage. This thing can get 80 tons into orbit, no problem, or somewhat less to the Mun.

My favourite probe landers are named named after the Hechatonchires of Greek mythology - Briarios and Cottus. (Gyges has yet to be taken by a design). Briarios probes come with an ejectable drogue chute for atmospheric landings, while Cottus probes omit that and any excess weight for non-amospheric landings. They can safely land on any body in the solar system, even Tylo.

My interplanetary vessels are either the small Interstellotron, which is more of a transfer stage, really, or the much bigger (usually four nukes) Interplanetron. The latter is usually attached to the payload in orbit using the big docking port.

Other than that, I just name things based on purpose. Mun lander returner, or Kerpollo for lander/csm combos. Minmus lander, Minmus Hab module, Duna Hab Module... etc etc etc.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm usually pretty random with rocket names, but I try to theme them at least somewhat for the planned mission. For example, my first rockets to the Mun are the Mun DANE class. I almost always give my space planes some kind of X-# designation though--because heck, every spaceplane I make is experimental.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I like to keep the naming consistent to the project being pursued. The early missions to Mun are usually some bastardized form of its name, like 'Munstrosity' or 'Mundeavor'. I will suffix each mission with either a letter if it is unmanned or a number if it is manned, or kerballed I guess would be the case.

Early on, I mistook Minmus as Min-i-mus and it always made me think of Mini-me from Austin Powers. My naming conventions were rather shameful for those missions. While 'Number Two B' would be busy collecting science, the crew of 'Shagadelic 2' spent most of their time doing unspeakable acts out in hills above the Great Flats. Suffice it to say, they brought no lime gelato home that trip.

Lately, I have been experimenting with SSTO Spaceplane designs and the names have followed suit. The 'For crying out loud, Get some altitude 23' was an amazing craft. While it lacked enough lift, it certainly made for some witty commentary. Soon to be unveiled is the 'Sign your will before you board 1'. I look forward to this mission series, as I will include landing gear to bolster the pilot's optimism.

Link to post
Share on other sites
This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...