Author Topic: CCtCap Mission Naming, Callsigns  (Read 13130 times)

Offline Zed_Noir

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2043
  • Canada
  • Liked: 241
  • Likes Given: 358
Re: CCtCap Mission Naming, Callsigns
« Reply #20 on: 02/06/2015 06:59 AM »
NASA really has no say.  These are commercial space craft and it is the companies call

The companies will name the vehicles.  NASA will designate them PCM-1, PCM-2 etc

We shall see if the SpaceX publicity machine (their CTO) will overwhelmed the NASA alpha-numeric designation.  :P

He did name the "Just Read the Instructions" and "Of Course I Still Love You" ASDS units out of the blue.

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 30167
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 8475
  • Likes Given: 271
Re: CCtCap Mission Naming, Callsigns
« Reply #21 on: 02/06/2015 11:44 AM »

We shall see if the SpaceX publicity machine (their CTO) will overwhelmed the NASA alpha-numeric designation.  :P


There is no question that will happen.  For cargo missions, it is Dragon and Cygnus on NASA missions CRS-1, CRS-2, etc

Offline chuck34

  • Member
  • Posts: 79
  • South Bend, IN
  • Liked: 29
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: CCtCap Mission Naming, Callsigns
« Reply #22 on: 02/10/2015 05:05 PM »
When you have worked on MSL since 2003, it already has a personality and it is not nameless.  MSL is just short for Emessel.  Renaming spacecraft exasperates those who worked on the spacecraft.

I'm curious, did/do the people at Grumman take a similar stance about their beloved LM-5?  Or do the guys that worked at North American still refer to CSM-107?

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 30167
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 8475
  • Likes Given: 271
Re: CCtCap Mission Naming, Callsigns
« Reply #23 on: 02/10/2015 05:15 PM »

I'm curious, did/do the people at Grumman take a similar stance about their beloved LM-5?  Or do the guys that worked at North American still refer to CSM-107?

Yes and even at the launch site too, because those vehicles weren't named when they were being built.  The engineering documentation would only have LM-5 or CSM-107.  The vehicles were under construction even before crews were assigned to them and also, sometimes the vehicles changed missions.

Even the engineering documentation for the Shuttle orbiters never referred to their names, they were OV-102, 103, 104, 105 and 099.  And they were called by those designations.
« Last Edit: 02/10/2015 05:19 PM by Jim »

Online edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12007
    • Space Launch Report
  • Liked: 2727
  • Likes Given: 480
Re: CCtCap Mission Naming, Callsigns
« Reply #24 on: 02/11/2015 12:10 AM »
Even the engineering documentation for the Shuttle orbiters never referred to their names, they were OV-102, 103, 104, 105 and 099.  And they were called by those designations.
Ditto that, from my time at KSC on payload contract during the 1980s.  We didn't say "Space Shuttle" either.  It was "STS".

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 02/11/2015 12:12 AM by edkyle99 »

Online chalz

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 160
  • Austrangia
  • Liked: 76
  • Likes Given: 893
Re: CCtCap Mission Naming, Callsigns
« Reply #25 on: 02/16/2015 01:43 PM »
Hopefully they will again end up with several names, used by different people in different contexts. Although since they are private companies we probably won't find out the internal appellations.

Letting the designers or builders name a vehicle publicly is likely to give a more respectful name and a greater variety of names since those staff change over time.

Dragon is already such a good name they might have trouble supplanting it with craft specific names. Conversely CST-100 is such a clumsy name almost anything will be better.

Could they paint the inside of each Dragon a different colour and call it by that name; Green Dragon, Black Dragon? Also aids with identifying them on the internal video feed. Not sure if the D&D reference would occur to Musk though.

Offline Herb Schaltegger

Re: CCtCap Mission Naming, Callsigns
« Reply #26 on: 02/16/2015 08:10 PM »

This -- with the exception of Columbus (for some reason), nobody at JSC outside of PAO uses the fancy hardware names.  Instead of Unity, Harmony, Tranquility, Destiny, Kibo, Quest, Zarya, Zvezda, Pirs, Poisk, Rassvet, Leonardo, Canadarm 2, and Nauka, they say Node 1, Node 2, Node 3, US Lab, JEM, Airlock, FGB, Service Module, DC1, MRM2, MRM1, SSRMS, and MLM.

In the SSF pre-CDR days at Boeing, everyone - even WP2 people from JSC - called it "the ESA," along with "the JEM;" Nodes 1, 2, 3, 4, US Lab A, Hab A, etc. At least in most documentation I saw and people I spoke with.

Offline the_other_Doug

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2396
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Liked: 1449
  • Likes Given: 2482
Re: CCtCap Mission Naming, Callsigns
« Reply #27 on: 02/17/2015 01:44 AM »
I completely understand that, in construction, support, launch flow, etc., etc., the engineers will always use the specific engineering designations for the modules and spacecraft.  Look back at Apollo -- none of the production flow documents for the Apollo spacecraft referred to working on "Eagle" or "Kitty Hawk."  In the Shuttle era, all of the engineering documentation refer to OV-099, OV-102, OV-103, OV-104 and OV-105.  None call them Challenger, Columbia, etc., etc.

And yet -- if there is a single instance of an astronaut using "LM-5" or "OV-103" as their radio callsign, or of Houston using those designations when calling to the spacecraft, I've never, ever heard it.

What I'm talking about is, when the first crewed CST-100 or Dragon flies, they are not going to refer to themselves over the radio by the spacecraft's designated engineering model number.  Neither are they likely to identify themselves as the official mission designation, a la STS-27 or AS-503.  They will have a callsign of some kind.

That's what I'm trying to discuss, maybe seriously, maybe playfully.  Maybe usefully, if SpaceX and/or Boeing (and/or NASA) people happen to read these fora on occasion.  After all, I think it would be a public service to convince a Boeing VP (for example) that using "CST-100-Five" when calling to and from their vehicle in flight is a much worse idea than simply using "Astonisher" or "Beagle" or "Endurance," some kind of simple, easy-to-understand identity for their spacecraft.
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 30167
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 8475
  • Likes Given: 271
Re: CCtCap Mission Naming, Callsigns
« Reply #28 on: 02/17/2015 02:05 AM »

What I'm talking about is, when the first crewed CST-100 or Dragon flies, they are not going to refer to themselves over the radio by the spacecraft's designated engineering model number.  Neither are they likely to identify themselves as the official mission designation, a la STS-27 or AS-503.

AS-503 call sign was Apollo 8 which is no different than STS-27.
« Last Edit: 02/17/2015 02:07 AM by Jim »

Offline the_other_Doug

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2396
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Liked: 1449
  • Likes Given: 2482
Re: CCtCap Mission Naming, Callsigns
« Reply #29 on: 02/17/2015 02:25 AM »

What I'm talking about is, when the first crewed CST-100 or Dragon flies, they are not going to refer to themselves over the radio by the spacecraft's designated engineering model number.  Neither are they likely to identify themselves as the official mission designation, a la STS-27 or AS-503.

AS-503 call sign was Apollo 8 which is no different than STS-27.

Yep, exactly.  But for Shuttle, once NASA named the orbiters, those names became the callsigns.  And even in Apollo, on the missions carrying a LM, they used the spacecraft names (Spider, Eagle, Columbia, Casper, etc., etc.) rather than the generic callsign "Apollo n" during periods when the two spacecraft were communicating separately.

Which is a part of this discussion.  Will SpaceX name each Dragon v2 and use those names for a callsign?  Or will they go by, for example, "Dragonrider n" with n being iterated for each mission, a la Gemini and Apollo?  And if they go that route, will Boeing do the same thing, or pursue an entirely different callsign convention?

That's sort of what I wanted to discuss -- what would be the most appealing convention to our NSF community?  And what do we think the people at SpaceX, Boeing (and arguably NASA) who will make the actual decisions are going to do?
« Last Edit: 02/17/2015 02:27 AM by the_other_Doug »
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline HarryM

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 398
  • California
  • Liked: 10
  • Likes Given: 21
Re: CCtCap Mission Naming, Callsigns
« Reply #30 on: 02/17/2015 08:15 PM »
I would think they could unofficially go with a generic "Dragon", since it's unlikely there will be more than one up at a time. It's also easy to say and it comes across clear with it's hard consonants.

Offline the_other_Doug

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2396
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Liked: 1449
  • Likes Given: 2482
Re: CCtCap Mission Naming, Callsigns
« Reply #31 on: 02/17/2015 10:25 PM »
Yep -- they sure could go with that.  Nice, short, two-syllable callsign, easy to understand over even poor radio reception.  But that doesn't answer what Boeing would want to do for the CST-100 flights.

Also -- I wonder just how much say NASA will have (or at least will want to have) in this.  As I understand it, the commercial crew flights to ISS will be controlled through the FCR at JSC, and as such NASA is the organization responsible for radio communications with the spacecraft.  Does this automatically give NASA (and specifically, NASA PAO) any say in the matter?  Or, if Elon decides to name his Dragons the same way he's naming the ASDS barges, will NASA PAO fight hard to keep him from naming one of them Funny, It Worked the Last Time... ?  :D
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline Herb Schaltegger

Re: CCtCap Mission Naming, Callsigns
« Reply #32 on: 02/18/2015 01:02 AM »
Yep -- they sure could go with that.  Nice, short, two-syllable callsign, easy to understand over even poor radio reception.  But that doesn't answer what Boeing would want to do for the CST-100 flights.

Personally, I hope someone in Boeing's Media Relations group is at least passingly familiar with their corporate history and some of the more important milestones and personalities. If so, I would posit that the highest and best callsign for a CST-100 flight would be "Clipper," with each flight given a "dash" suffix. E.g., "Clipper - Dash One", "Clipper - Dash Two", etc.

But perhaps that's just the romantic in me (who learned the basics of jet propulsion engineering from a fellow who worked on the 707, 727 and 747.

Offline LouScheffer

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1324
  • Liked: 1335
  • Likes Given: 170
Re: CCtCap Mission Naming, Callsigns
« Reply #33 on: 02/18/2015 12:59 PM »
Commercial flights use a simple operator+number, such as "United 244, you are cleared to land".  Simple, un-ambiguous, allows different equipment without re-naming, generalizes to hundreds of flights/missions/ships.  So "Boeing 5" and "SpaceX 7", for example.

Offline the_other_Doug

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2396
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Liked: 1449
  • Likes Given: 2482
Re: CCtCap Mission Naming, Callsigns
« Reply #34 on: 02/18/2015 06:18 PM »
Yes, that's definitely one way they could go.  Of course, the commercial airline radio designations are meant to differentiate between hundreds of different aircraft with which the air traffic controllers are communicating at any one time, many of which are flights for the same carriers.

As such, while it's certainly a convention that could work, and it does carry historical precedent from the airline industry, it has very little historical precedent in human spaceflight.  Maybe it's time to consider such a change in paradigm, however.
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Online JasonAW3

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2291
  • Claremore, Ok.
  • Liked: 355
  • Likes Given: 8
Re: CCtCap Mission Naming, Callsigns
« Reply #35 on: 02/18/2015 07:53 PM »
I'm thinking that for Nearspace use, it'll probably be more like Air traffic control designations but interplanetary will likely have names for the interplanetary platforms themselves, much like ocean liners and cargo ships.

Ground to orbit craft will be given the ATC type designations, while interplanetary traffic control will be more like the current shipping systems for large vessels.  Similar to ATC, but at a much slower pace, using ship names or mission designations.  Refueling and provisioning stations will likely aquire more prosaic names instead of EML-1 for instance, it will likely be called Nearside Station while EML-2 would be Farside Station.

Mind you, this is all long term in speculation and likely won't be of much issue until we have multiple launches per day.  If cheap, reusable SSTO craft can be built, then this will likely have to be adopted within a decade or less, as there will likely be craft that will hitch rides on larger cycler style vessels, detatching themselves either near their arrival point or to transfer to another craft.

It will likely not be until the next century that manned spacecraft venture beyond the asteroid belt, unless better contruction techniques come into play, better radiation protection becomes available, and cheap, fast planetary transfer engines become available.

So, unless there is a rapid series of Manhattan Project moments in a variety of technologies, we're pretty much going to be stuck no further out into space, than the Asteroid Belt.  So flight call signs will only be applicible when there is enough traffic off planet to warrent a planetary tracking network for spacecraft.  (Assuming, that is, we clean up LEO before we have a major accident).
My God!  It's full of universes!

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 30167
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 8475
  • Likes Given: 271
Re: CCtCap Mission Naming, Callsigns
« Reply #36 on: 02/18/2015 08:00 PM »
Not for decades.  Spacecraft currently don't share frequencies so there is really no need to have separate call signs.

Offline erioladastra

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1245
  • Liked: 70
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: CCtCap Mission Naming, Callsigns
« Reply #37 on: 02/26/2015 02:28 PM »
Yep -- they sure could go with that.  Nice, short, two-syllable callsign, easy to understand over even poor radio reception.  But that doesn't answer what Boeing would want to do for the CST-100 flights.

Also -- I wonder just how much say NASA will have (or at least will want to have) in this.  As I understand it, the commercial crew flights to ISS will be controlled through the FCR at JSC, and as such NASA is the organization responsible for radio communications with the spacecraft.  Does this automatically give NASA (and specifically, NASA PAO) any say in the matter?  Or, if Elon decides to name his Dragons the same way he's naming the ASDS barges, will NASA PAO fight hard to keep him from naming one of them Funny, It Worked the Last Time... ?  :D

Many things in here that are incorrect.  First,  Flight Operations Director (FOD) is the operations agent for Boeing only.  They are, for all practical purposes, a sub contractor to Boeing.  Therefore, NASA role in radio communications has nothing to do with this.  SpaceX will oeprate their vehicle from their control center.  NASA will review frequencies to show there is no interference, nothing more.  Second, the commercial companies, period (see my post above), will name their vehicles whatever they want.  The can call them Fred and Bob for all NASA can do.  "NASA sucks 1" probably will run into stiff opposition.  NASA will name the flights PCM-1, PCM-2 for Post Certification Mission.  But at least for Boeing the space to ground call will be "Fred, Houston...".  No point in speculating any more beyond this.

I am confident Boeing will come up with a name akin to Dreamliner on the 787.  CST-100 is the make. 

Tags: