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  Constellation mission designations

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Author Topic:   Constellation mission designations

Posts: 2488
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 04-13-2009 03:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Excellent essay by Bill Pogue on Naming Spacecraft. Following up on that, what will they call the manned missions for the next program?

During the Gemini and Apollo Programs the missions were designated "Gemini #" and "Apollo #" so will these missions be referred to as Constellation #? (a bit long)

Or since they are flying in an Orion CM will they be named "Orion #?" But then they went and named the LM or LSAM "Altair" so that doesn't really work then because obviously there will be an "Orion/Altair" docked spacecraft going to the Moon.

Any word on the crew picking names as the Apollo crews did?


Robert Pearlman

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-13-2009 08:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When the Orion and Altair monikers were announced, NASA said it would have no problem with individual crews naming their spacecraft. It is too early to say if that will be what happens.

As the crews will launch on Orions atop Ares I rockets, separate from Altair LSAMs aboard the more massive Ares V boosters, the current nomenclature suggests missions will be Orion numbered.

Remember that the Apollo-era need for two call signs given two crewed vehicles won't be as pressing, given that Orion will fly autonomously while its crew is on the lunar surface.

John Charles

Posts: 316
From: Houston, Texas, USA
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 04-13-2009 02:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for John Charles     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
An internal manifest from May 2008 shows the Constellation missions listed as Orion 1 through Orion 20 (launching on Ares I boosters) and Altair 1-4 (launching on Ares V boosters). (Arabic numerals for Orion and Altair, roman numerals for Ares.)

Joint launches are shown as Altair 1 with unmanned Orion 13 for tests, then Altair 2 with Orion 15 (crewed), Altair 3 with Orion 17 and Altair 4 with Orion 19. Odd Orion numbers to the moon, even to ISS maybe?

Of course, we know from STS numbering how quickly a nice, predictable sequence can get out of whack!

John Charles
Houston, Texas

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