Author Topic: BFR/BFS/ITS Naming speculation thread  (Read 7949 times)

Offline Lar

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BFR/BFS/ITS Naming speculation thread
« on: 09/30/2017 01:19 PM »
In the IAC 2017 presentation Elon Musk admitted that SpaceX doesn't have a good name for the new booster and ship. Last year's "ITS" was apparently abandoned. Our "ITSy" wasn't taken up either.  This thread is designed to collect speculation about the names as it was getting into other discussions. Mods may move posts here from elsewhere as they are identified.

Note that this thread is primarily for discussion of the system name, not names for individual boosters or ships although the thread was seeded with some of those posts initially.
« Last Edit: 10/03/2017 07:10 PM by Lar »
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Nibb31

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Re: BFR/BFS/ITS Naming speculation thread
« Reply #1 on: 09/30/2017 01:37 PM »
BFR is the what Musk called the whole system. We don't have individual names for the various spacecraft and the booster at this point.

I don't think there was any ambiguity that the OP is referring to the BFR spacecraft visiting the ISS and not the booster.

Online KelvinZero

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Re: BFR/BFS/ITS Naming speculation thread
« Reply #2 on: 10/01/2017 02:31 AM »
BFR is the what Musk called the whole system. We don't have individual names for the various spacecraft and the booster at this point.

I don't think there was any ambiguity that the OP is referring to the BFR spacecraft visiting the ISS and not the booster.
Lar might have been indirectly pointing out that only the BFR is "big". The "BFS" is about the weight of the shuttle.

Im interested in naming though.
As far as I can tell, the most official is (like you say)
BFR = the entire system (eg "BFR for point to point")

And these terms have also all been used in the presentation:
Booster = the big first stage
Crew Ship = crew variant of upper stage
Cargo Ship = cargo variant of upper stage
Tanker = propellant-only variant of upper stage.



Just a suggestion: (edit: no doubt someone with more experience has already done a better job of this)

Make BF the preference to everything, then have
BFR (everything),
BFBooster: just the first stage.
BFCrew, BFCargo, BFTanker: various ship variants

(If we replace Crew with Ship, then we could use acronyms for everything: BFR (BFRS, BFRC, BFRT), BFB, BFS,BFC,BFT.)

And in future, the BF prefix might change to something else. A big bird like "Roc" or whatever they com up with.

(or why not "Taurus".. or "Fairmont" , :) )
« Last Edit: 10/01/2017 05:48 AM by KelvinZero »

Offline Alastor

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Re: BFR/BFS/ITS Naming speculation thread
« Reply #3 on: 10/02/2017 04:06 PM »
I think we may need a naming thread for this new rocket, just so that this naming debate (to which there is no good answer, as even SpaceX don't seem to know exactly how to call what yet) doesn't spill everywhere.
As far a I know, the only terminology used by SpaceX so far has been BFR for either the whole system or parts of it, so I'll stick to that.

Anyway, on to a more interesting and topic-relevant discussion, what we're talking about here is that big thing that's supposed to go to the moon, mars and beyond, and that could transport cargo and crew to LEO as well if we want it to.

I don't think the fact that there would need a lot of paperwork is a big obstacle right now to have this debate, since the spaceship design isn't even finished yet.
The time constraints might indeed mean that said spaceship won't exist in time to go to the ISS due to it's expected retirement date, although I fully expect the ISS to remain in space until there is a solid schedule for a replacement to be built.

If it were to go to the ISS, though, couldn't the BFR do the maneuvers itself if it's too big for the ISS to perform them ? Or couldn't they perform these maneuvers together ?

Although I also like the idea of it performing as its own station, some experiments might need to run for much longer that the ship would stay in space. Since it's not build to be a station, I don't think it would be possible for a BFR to serve as a permanent station as well.

It may however indeed be a way to enable and facilitate the building of a much bigger station which would be better suited to be mated with such a big ship. You could have more crew, but also bigger experiments, which would be pretty cool.
I don't think the idea of having the cargo version of BFR send up a D2 or some other type of capsule would ever be a very desirable option. It would only be wasted space, weight, fuel and money to have a spaceship inside a spaceship. If you buy the ability to bring up such a huge amount of volume and mass, you want to make use of it. Even if it's cheap.

Offline spacenut

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Re: BFR/BFS/ITS Naming speculation thread
« Reply #4 on: 10/02/2017 05:15 PM »
I think each ITS ship should have a name like ITS Enterprise, or ITS Columbia.  Tankers could have other names, like ITS Dallas or something like that.  Cargo ships could have other names also.  like ICS (Interplanetary Cargo Ship) Halsy.  Since they will be reused, naming the ITS ships should be done.  Boosters probably should be just numbered, like BFB (Big fricking booster) 001. 

Offline Ludus

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Re: BFR/BFS/ITS Naming speculation thread
« Reply #5 on: 10/02/2017 07:06 PM »
I think each ITS ship should have a name like ITS Enterprise, or ITS Columbia.  Tankers could have other names, like ITS Dallas or something like that.  Cargo ships could have other names also.  like ICS (Interplanetary Cargo Ship) Halsy.  Since they will be reused, naming the ITS ships should be done.  Boosters probably should be just numbered, like BFB (Big fricking booster) 001.

USCSS Nostromo

Offline rakaydos

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Re: BFR/BFS/ITS Naming speculation thread
« Reply #6 on: 10/02/2017 07:12 PM »
I think each ITS ship should have a name like ITS Enterprise, or ITS Columbia.  Tankers could have other names, like ITS Dallas or something like that.  Cargo ships could have other names also.  like ICS (Interplanetary Cargo Ship) Halsy.  Since they will be reused, naming the ITS ships should be done.  Boosters probably should be just numbered, like BFB (Big fricking booster) 001.

Scorpius, slayer of Orion.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scorpius#Mythology

Offline Lar

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Re: BFR/BFS/ITS Naming speculation thread
« Reply #7 on: 10/03/2017 06:54 PM »
I don't quite know what was wrong with ITS as a name for the whole system and see no reason not to use BFR for the booster and BFS for the ship.
« Last Edit: 10/03/2017 07:09 PM by Lar »
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Darkseraph

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Re: BFR/BFS/ITS Naming speculation thread
« Reply #8 on: 10/03/2017 07:20 PM »
Falcon series of rockets is allegedly named after The Millennium Falcon from Star Wars..

So in keeping with Star Wars references perhaps they could call BFR, Millennium. The would be suitably grandiose for a gigantic rocket described as being revolutionary rather than evolutionary while also indicating this is a 21st Century spacecraft. As such, the first stage would be The Millennium Booster and the upperstage ship would be The Millennium Spaceship.
« Last Edit: 10/04/2017 01:11 PM by Darkseraph »
"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled." R.P.Feynman

Offline John Alan

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Re: BFR/BFS/ITS Naming speculation thread
« Reply #9 on: 10/03/2017 07:41 PM »
I don't quite know what was wrong with ITS as a name for the whole system and see no reason not to use BFR for the booster and BFS for the ship.

You know... I agree...
ITS still describes the system as a whole... It's purpose
BFR for the Booster... It is a Big F-in Rocket that gets things outta the thick of the Gravity well...
BFS for the spaceship... It flies in Space...It's Big F-in...

As for the rest of the topic...
I think Boosters should be numbered... they are never "manned" in a stand alone sense...
BFR1001 seems like a good starting point.

BFS... I'm mixed on this...
BFS's that can be manned... Yes name them... BFS Columbia... BFS Enterprise... whatever the consensus is.
Will aid in radio comm just like ships at sea...
And Humans like to name the ships they can ride in... fair enough...

Never manned cargo BFS... CARGO 7... CARGO 31... I'm thinking numbers...
The railroads tend to group like loco units in number blocks...
So Maybe Cargos used for Starlink sats all start at 100... CARGO 100... CARGO 106
GEO deliver setups a different block... CARGO 200... CARGO 209
The point with this number system is you instantly sense purpose and age

I think Tankers should be numbered too... TANKER 9... TANKER 27 (like fire fighting water bombers)
They are never manned... so number them too... you never call over to someone on one do you?...

In summary... if there is life support systems aboard... name it
No air... number it...

My two cents on topic...  ;)

« Last Edit: 10/03/2017 07:44 PM by John Alan »

Offline ZachF

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Re: BFR/BFS/ITS Naming speculation thread
« Reply #10 on: 10/03/2017 07:48 PM »
Naming the (individual) boosters after weightlifting exercises would be pretty funny.

"Squat" "Benchpress" "Curl" "Deadlift" etc.

EDIT or after synonyms for "Throw"

"Throw" "Hurl" "Chuck" "Toss" etc.
http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/throw?s=t
« Last Edit: 10/03/2017 07:58 PM by ZachF »

Offline ZachF

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Re: BFR/BFS/ITS Naming speculation thread
« Reply #11 on: 10/03/2017 07:50 PM »
I also like "Phoenix" for the spaceship, for multiple reasons, with individual ships having their own names.

Offline Nibb31

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Re: BFR/BFS/ITS Naming speculation thread
« Reply #12 on: 10/03/2017 08:02 PM »
SpaceX names have all been based on birds of prey (Merlin, Kestrel, Falcon...) or dragons (Dragon, Draco). There are plenty of names available in those themes.

They should just call it the Lammergeier and get on with it.

Offline sanman

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Re: BFR/BFS/ITS Naming speculation thread
« Reply #13 on: 10/03/2017 09:18 PM »
I too thought the ITS name seemed fine before, and wasn't sure why Musk/SpaceX were backing away from it after having coined it. I likewise thought the original MCT name was also fine, and it seemed like Musk only switched from that to ITS after Bezos gave his speech talking about industrializing the solar system.

But now, the newer revised BFR is more versatile and multipurpose than before, so it won't just be an Interplanetary Transport Ship or a Mars Colonial Transport.

The ship is supposed to be able to do Earth-to-Orbit, Earth-to-Moon, Earth-to-Mars, cis-lunar, Moon-to-Mars, etc,
and is even touted to do Point-to-Point suborbital flight on Earth. That's about as generic and all-purpose as we'll need for this century. Maybe the name should likewise be similarly as broad and vague as possible. What would be nice, of course, is something that rolls off the tongue easily and has a nice ring to it.


I'm also suspecting that Musk is backing away from the ITS name precisely because he still plans to make the original BFR (or something bigger) down the road, and intends for that to fulfill the dedicated Interplanetary Transport role, and to bear that name.
« Last Edit: 10/03/2017 09:44 PM by sanman »

Offline Dave G

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Re: BFR/BFS/ITS Naming speculation thread
« Reply #14 on: 10/03/2017 09:37 PM »
I don't quite know what was wrong with ITS as a name for the whole system and see no reason not to use BFR for the booster and BFS for the ship.

The average Joe doesn't know the difference between the rocket and the spaceship, but they know what BFR means.

Basically, this comes down to marketing, and getting the most attention in the media. Musk seems to be good at that.

Offline Jcc

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Re: BFR/BFS/ITS Naming speculation thread
« Reply #15 on: 10/03/2017 10:31 PM »
SpaceX names have all been based on birds of prey (Merlin, Kestrel, Falcon...) or dragons (Dragon, Draco). There are plenty of names available in those themes.

They should just call it the Lammergeier and get on with it.

Eagle?

Any way, I think BFR/BFS will eventually be officially retired as a code name, and something more socially acceptable will be adopted, which could have been ITS, but this has apparently been walked back. Why? Maybe they thought it would be perceived as inappropriate if the design is really for Mars, with a secondary application for the moon.  Chris Hadfield said to him BFR stands for "a Bit Farfetched Rocket."
« Last Edit: 10/03/2017 10:32 PM by Jcc »

Online KelvinZero

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Re: BFR/BFS/ITS Naming speculation thread
« Reply #16 on: 10/03/2017 10:55 PM »
Ironic, all this effort to find the iconic name for something we hope to become the 747 of spaceflight :)

Offline Jcc

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Re: BFR/BFS/ITS Naming speculation thread
« Reply #17 on: 10/03/2017 11:17 PM »
Ironic, all this effort to find the iconic name for something we hope to become the 747 of spaceflight :)

Maybe it's the Dreamliner of space flight.

Offline Dave G

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Re: BFR/BFS/ITS Naming speculation thread
« Reply #18 on: 10/03/2017 11:30 PM »
Any way, I think BFR/BFS will eventually be officially retired as a code name, and something more socially acceptable will be adopted...

For more polite conversation, they can say it means "Big Falcon Rocket".

Offline AlexP

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Re: BFR/BFS/ITS Naming speculation thread
« Reply #19 on: 10/03/2017 11:50 PM »
Well, if all goes to plan with it, the name is going to be taught in classrooms for the next few hundred years I'd imagine. Gonna need something more memorable and suggestive of adventure than an acronym. Could call it Olympus given the size of the vehicles and the apparent mountain to climb in getting there. And the Mars link... but then again Greek has been done a lot at this point.

Loved his idea last year of naming the first landed (crew?) Mars ship the Heart of Gold, but whether that went out with the 42 engines I'm not sure.

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