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How Do You Name Your Craft?


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1 hour ago, IncongruousGoat said:

I come up with a naming scheme for each save, and pull all my names from that. It could be anything from names of famous ancient Greeks to metals in order of increasing tensile strength. Either that, or I name my ships after what they're intended to do.

I do the same once out of the VAB/SPH...I am onto bug names now. :)

But in the VAB/SPH, I name them by Body/Function/version...for example Mun Scan v3 so they are all nice and organized in the 'Open' list.  I still end up with way to many versions (and sub assemblies).  I blame Jeb.

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Usually I'll name my spacecraft after figures from Greek mythology, name it after a famous scientist, or come up with a relevant acronym.


  • Materials science satellite - Proteus (Greek god that could shape shift)
  • Orbital telescope - Hipparchus (famous astronomer)
  • TDRS - Tracking and Data Relay Satellite
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All of my names are boring and practical. I name stuff like "MunOrbitalScienceLV" (LV for launch vehicle). I make a ton of crafts and like to re-use ones to speed up contract completion so having practical names that allows me to find them quickly is useful.

I've also played around with mods like champagne bottle redux which makes up names for you. It's pretty good if you don't want to think about it but also don't want boring names.

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For me there's names, classifications, and mission designations.

The name of any given vehicle tends to come from various sources, I just make sure I have some sort of theme for similar vehicles in the same playthrough (e.g. for my Constellation-style vehicles I've been using lately I've named all spacecraft after various real constellations, even though only Orion and Altair have official names).

For classifications I tend to go for a realistic-style nomenclature. With launch vehicles I'll have the name, and then some alphanumeric notation that encodes some information about the vehicle. An example would be my (now-obsolete) Raven IV 744 rocket, wherein Raven is the name of the launch vehicle series, IV indicates that the core is the larger Raven IV core (twice the length of the Raven II core), and 744 denotes 7 first stage engines, 4 solid rocket boosters, and an R4 upper stage respectively.

Mission designations are something I've started more recently if I'm reusing the same vehicle. The mission designation will notate the basic vehicle as well as the type of mission.

Here's an example of all three systems in use. In my long-term career, the crew transport vehicles I've been using so far are the Megido-series spacecraft. Those are named Megido 1/Megido 2/etc based on the number of kerbals they can transport. The same Megido spacecraft may be launched on a different vehicle, in which case that specific launch vehicle is designated something like Megido 2 B7, indicating that it is a Megido 2 spacecraft being launched on a Bishop 7 rocket. Missions involving Megido spacecraft will begin Mx (where x is the spacecraft number from the name). A mission using a Megido 2 spacecraft that is overall the 8th crewed mission to Kerbin orbit, for example, would be designated M2 KO8, indicating a Megido 2 spacecraft, K(erbin)O(rbit)8.

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7 hours ago, Mrsupersonic8 said:
  • TDRS - Tracking and Data Relay Satellite

Read this as TRDS at first glance. Thought for a second you might have designed a Tardis and got really excited. That would be a sight to see in KSP, a fully functional Tardis whizzing through space, taking in the sights of Jool's moons and slingshotting around to spend the day at Eeloo.

Edited by Voyageur
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Location/destination if constant, Role, [revision][constellation ID]

Gilly Relay A, B, C

Eve Station

Eve Station 2 (after first one returned).

Eeloo Mission (bundle of crafts to be named once deployed separately for their individual roles)

Mun SciLander (Science from surface of Mun)

Mun SciCollector (same, orbital)

Minmus RescueLanders Carrier (central ship carrying Minmus RescueLander A through G, to be deployed as needed).

Sentinel 2 A (new generation of Sentinel satellites; first of them.)


Craft/segment after end of mission gets marked as debris and gets '--' in front of the name, often forfeiting its original purpose and describing what it is good for currently:

--Orange Tank half full.


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I called one of my Scansats "Scanny Mc ScanScan". All the other Scansats are named Todd, like the Scansats in Scott Manleys Galileo Conquest.

One of my first probes, wich was doomed to run out of electricity and to stay in LKO forever was renamed "Potato".

Suggestions for manned Craft:

- Deathtrap

- Kraken Feeding Can

- Nautilus (because Why not?)

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For all of my space station parts I use: KSS 1, KSS 2....etc

Or I'll call things what they are: 5 way comm (5 satellites on 1 rocket), Up-Air launcher, small... etc

And I use acronyms like VLLRR ( Very Large Long Range Relay ) 

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For complete spacecraft I pick a theme for a given class and then try to work within it. For instance the craft files for all of my landers are named after bugs (Spider, Grasshopper, Midge, etc...) and my space planes are named after sea-birds (gull, gannet, penguin). and sub-assemblies have silly acronyms like KSSM (Konveniently Small Service Module) or POO (Polar Orbit Observatory)

For career games I name my missions after the target body (IE "Munar Explorer" or "Duna Express") and contract missions after the sponsoring organization with corresponding numerator (IE, STRUTCO 1, 2, 3...)


Edited by HlynkaCG
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I normally name it after what it is with version numbers.

Airplane 1 which has 1.1, 1.0.1, 1.0.1 space, 1.1.1, and 2

Jet 1

Spaceplane 1 and 2

Space Shuttle



Space Station 1

SuperCar(long story involving Robocraft.)


Columbia (I couldn't have two entirely different designs for a space shuttle with the same name, so I named it after my favorite space shuttle)

Space Station Freedom(for the space shuttle challenge, named after the space station that was planned by NASA and shot down by congress. Repeatedly, because they would redesign it every time. Until it became the ISS.)

Edited by 53miner53
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