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  Spacecraft, like ships, referred to as "she"

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Author Topic:   Spacecraft, like ships, referred to as "she"

Posts: 1845
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 07-26-2013 04:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Call it the ramblings of a senile mind, but it occurs to me that ever since mechanical structures were built those associated with them have referred to them as 'she'. Ships, aircraft and cars are the obvious examples. In fact, my current car - a blue Toyota - is affectionately called 'Janet' after my late partner.

With this in mind, does anyone know if spacecraft, both manned and unmanned, were ever referred to as 'she' by those that built, serviced, controlled, or flew them? Is it possible that a question such as, "How's Voyager 2 doing?" is answered by, "Oh! She's fine.".


Posts: 593
From: Danville, Ohio, USA
Registered: Dec 2002

posted 07-26-2013 12:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for space1   Click Here to Email space1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If I recall correctly, Crippen referred to Columbia in those terms during memorial services for the lost crewmembers.

Jim Behling

Posts: 718
From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 07-26-2013 05:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
All types are "it's", whether, shuttle, launch vehicle or satellite, in places I worked.


Posts: 557
From: Brandon, Fl
Registered: May 2012

posted 07-28-2013 09:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have heard pilots referring to them as "her" far more often than the engineers! LOL

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 30714
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-28-2013 10:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For what it is worth, some of the Boeing engineers working on CST-100 refer to the capsule as "him."

Shuttle managers, technicians, engineers and astronauts alternated between "it" and "her," depending on the person.

From an editorial viewpoint, all spacecraft are inanimate objects and therefore are always referred to as "it."


Posts: 1475
From: West Jordan, Utah USA
Registered: Dec 1999

posted 07-28-2013 11:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for randy   Click Here to Email randy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For what it's worth, I too refer to my car as 'her' and 'she'.

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