Following the recent launch of SpaceX’s crewed spaceflight, enthusiasts investigated the source of the name given to SpaceX’s Demo-2.
NASA’s first astronauts to launch from American soil ever since the termination of the space shuttle project named their spacecraft in commemoration of one of their decommissioned winged orbiters.
During a recent live broadcast from Earth’s orbit, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley unveiled the name of SpaceX Crew Dragon. The live stream occurred about 3 hours after the team successfully launched from the NASA’s Kennedy Space Center that is in Florida on May 30.
The transmission addressed the team at SpaceX’s mission control, which also serves as the company’s spacecraft as well as rocket assembly facility that is in Hawthorne, California.
The statement Hurley gave was that “I know most of you, at SpaceX especially, know it as ‘Capsule 206,’ but I think all of us thought that maybe we could do a little bit better than that. So without further ado, we would like to welcome you aboard capsule ‘Endeavour.'”
Hurley further explains the reasons for the name, stating that it came as a reminder to “this incredible endeavor” from both NASA and SpaceX. He further ascertains that the United States is a significant player to the program’s success since the end of the previous space shuttle program in 2011.
Another reason Hurley gave is that the name is more of a personal touch both for him as well as Bob. The Crew Dragon Endeavour is less similar to the space shuttle, and Hurley reports that SpaceX designed it to be a 21st-century spacecraft.
Behnken confirms that the crew’s excitement stems from holding the mission in a brand-new spaceship. The space voyager has a lot different compared to its namesake — the Endeavour space shuttle. According to reports on the interior, this space shuttle is more modern in that it does have touch display screens, which provides the crew ease of operations. The capsules naming is a continuation of the norm that started in the early U.S. space program.
The Crew Dragon Endeavour is one of the few U.S. crewed spacecraft named after Apollo 15 command module Endeavour. This mission sought to orbit the moon during fourth moon landing mission in the year 1971.
In December 2019, NASA granted astronaut Suni Williams the privilege of picking first name given to CST-100 Starliner, the Boeing’s commercial spacecraft which does plan to fly the crews to space station.
In conclusion, it seems that the tradition of letting crew members give names to their spacecrafts is bound to continue in upcoming spaceflight launches.