Satellite names
This page lists the names that have been given to satellites and rockets. Names that are merely acronyms or descriptions of the satellite's function (e.g. Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite) are not included. NASA has named a number of its scientific satellites, and other space agencies have also used up some names. Here is a partial list of the existing satellites named after people.

Spacecraft Name Named after Mission
Amos Amos Amos of Tekoa, c. 750BC, prophet Communications sat, Israel
Hipparcos Hipparcos Hipparchos of Rhodes, c. 150 BC, made star catalog Astrometry (ESA)
San Marco San Marco Yohanan Marcus, c. 30, religious writer Atmospheric science, Italy
Universitetskiy Tatyana Tatiana of Roma, d. c. 225, religious activistStudent satellite, Russia
ISS Aryabhata Aryabhata, c. 450, Indian mathematicianTest satellite (India)
SEO Bhaskara Bhaskara, c. 650, Indian mathematician Earth observing sat (India)
STARS-1 Kukai Kukai, 774-835, philosopher and monkTether experiment\\
Sina Sina(h)-1 Abu Ali al-Husayn ibn 'Abd Allah ibn Sina, 980-1037, scientist and polymathTest satellite
Ghauri Ghauri Muhammad Shahab ud-din Ghori (Ghauri), 1162-1206, general and rulerMissile
Marcopolo Marcopolo Marco Polo, 1254-1324, explorer Communications sat, England
Giotto Giotto Giotto di Bondone, 1266-1337, painted P/Halley Comet probe (ESA)
MPLM-3 DonatelloDonato de'Bardi, 1386 - 1466, sculptor Space station module, not flown
COF Columbus Cristoforo Colon, 1451-1506, explorer Space station (ESA)
MPLM-1 Leonardo Leonardo da Vinci, 1452-1519, scientist and artist Space station module
DS-U3-IK Kopernik-500Nikolai Kopernik, 1473-1543, heliocentric cosmologySpace physics sat (Russia/Poland)
OAO C CopernicusNikolai Kopernik, 1473-1543, heliocentric cosmologyUV astronomy
VRM Magellan Fernao de Magalhaes, 1480-1521, explorer Venus orbiter
MPLM-2 Rafaelo Raffaelo Sanzio, 1483-1520, artist Space station module
JOP Galileo Galileo Galilei, 1564-1642, telescope pioneer Jupiter orbiter/probe
Kepler Kepler Johann Kepler, 1571-1630, astronomer astronomical observatory
ATV-2 Johannes Kepler Johann Kepler, 1571-1630, astronomer cargo ship
Picard Picard Jean-Felix Picard, 1620-1682, astronomer astronomical sat
MM2/Cas. Cassini Gian Domenico Cassini,1625-1712, observed Saturn's ringsSaturn/Titan probe
Huygens Huygens Christiaan Huygens, 1629-1695, discovered Titan Titan lander (ESA)
XMM XMM-NewtonIsaac Newton, 1642-1727 (physics)X-ray astronomy
STARS-2 Gennai Hiraga Gen'nai, 1728-1780, pharmacologist and polymath Tether experiment
FIRST Herschel Wilhelm Herschel, 1738-1822 IR observatory
VRSS-1 Francisco de Miranda S. Francisco de Miranda Rodriguez, 1750-1816, revolutionaryRemote sensing sat, Venezuela
Morelos Morelos Jose Maria Morelos, 1765-1815, revolutionary Communications sat, Mexico
SSTI Lewis Meriwether Lewis, 1774-1809, explorer Earth observing
Orsted Orsted Hans Christian Orsted, 1777-1851 (electromagnetism) Space physics, Denmark
Venesat Simon Bolivar Simon Bolivar y Palacios Ponte y Blanco, 1783-1830, revolutionary Comms sat
Coriolis Coriolis Gaspard-Gustave de Coriolis, 1792-1843, mathematician Earth observing
MFEX Rover SojournerIsabella Sojourner Truth, 1797-1883, human rights activistMars rover
MozhaetsMozhaets Aleksandr F. Mozhaisky, 1825-1890, aviation pioneerTest satellite
ATV Jules VerneJules Gabriel Verne, 1828-1905, writerCargo ship
ROSAT Rontgen Wilhelm Rontgen, 1845-1923, discovered X-raysX-ray astronomy (Germany)
Phonesat Alexander, Graham, Bell Alexander Graham Bell, 1847-1922, inventorTechnology sats
Planck Planck Max Planck, 1858-1947, quantum theorist Astronomy sat (ESA)
Pershing Pershing John J. Pershing, 1860-1948, general Missile
DS2 MicroprobeScott ProbeRobert Falcon Scott, 1868-1912, polar explorer Mars probe
DS2 MicroprobeAmundsen ProbeRoald Amundsen, 1872-1928, polar explorer Mars probe
HEAO B Einstein Albert Einstein, 1879-1955 (relativity, stat mech, quantum)X-ray astronomy
ATV 4 Albert Einstein Albert Einstein, 1879-1955 (relativity, stat mech, quantum)Cargo ship
HST Hubble Edwin Hubble, 1889-1953, discovered expanding universeOptical/UV astronomy
GRO Compton Arthur Compton, 1892-1962, studied gamma rays Gamma astronomy
ATV 5 Georges Lemaitre George H.J.E. Lemaitre, 1894-1966, cosmologist Cargo ship
GLAST Fermi Enrico Fermi, 1901-1954, physicist (QM, stat mech, particles)Gamma astronomy
XTE Rossi Bruno Rossi, 1905-1993, X-ray astronomy pioneerX-ray astronomy
NGST James Webb Space Tel.James Edwin Webb, 1906-1992, NASA administratorPlanned IR observatory
SAX BeppoSAX Guiseppe 'Beppo' Occhialini, 1907-1993, cosmic rays X-ray astronomy (Italy)
ATV 3 Edoardo AmaldiEdoardo Amaldi, 1908-1989, physicist Cargo ship
Astrid Astrid Astrid Ericsson Lindgren, 1907-2002, author Space physics, Sweden
CXO Chandra Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, 1910-1995 (black holes, astrophysics) X-ray astronomy
RBSP 1/2Van Allen ProbesJames A. Van Allen, 1914-2006, space scientistSpace science satellites
SIRTF Spitzer Lyman Spitzer, Jr., 1914-1997 (interstellar medium, space telescopes)IR telescope
NPP Suomi NPP Verner Suomi, 1915-1995, space meteorologistWeathre sat
ESA Mercury BepiColomboGiuseppe 'Bepi' Colombo, 1920-1984, astronautical scientistMercury probe (planned)
Techsat Gurwin Joseph Gurwin, 1920-2009, philanthropist Communications sat, Israel
BRITE-P1 Lem Stanislaw Lem, 1921-2006, writer space telescope, Poland
Razaksat RazaksatAbdul Razak bin Haji Dato' Hussein Al-Haj, 1922-1976, politicianImaging sat, Malaysia
Yubilyeniy-2MiR Mikhail Reshetnyov, 1924-1996, spacecraft designer Science sat
NEAR NEAR ShoemakerEugene M. Shoemaker, 1928-1997, planetary scientistAsteroid probe
VL1 Mutch StationThomas Mutch, 1931-1980, Viking Mars scientistMars lander
MPF Sagan StationCarl Sagan, 1934-1996, planetary scientistMars lander
MAP Wilkinson MAP David T. Wilkinson, 1935-2002, physicist Cosmology sat
HESSI Reuven Ramaty HESSI Reuven Ramaty, 1937-2001, solar physicist Solar observatory
Musat Victor Jose Victor Aruani, 1941-1994, Musat project memberTest sat, Argentina
E1PU2 Hiscock Rad Belt Explorer William A. Hiscock, 1952-2009, physicistCubesat
METSAT Kalpana-1 Kalpana Chawla, 1961-2003, astronaut Weather
Artemis Pico JAK J.A. Kitts, 1999? - (Son of Artemis team advisor Chris Kitts) Picosatellite
Galileo IOV 1Thijs Thijs Paerlman, 2000-, competition winner, BelgiumNavsat
Galileo IOV 3David David Markarjanc, 2001-, Galileo competition winner, Czech Rep.Navsat
Galileo IOV 2Natalia Natalia Nikolaeva, 2002-, competition winner, BulgariaNavsat
Galileo IOV 4Sif : Sif Skov Christensen, 2002-, Galileo competition winner, DenmarkNavsat

The Mozhaets satellite is more directly named after the Mozhaisky Military Space Engineering Academy.

Spacecraft names which are not named after people:

Constellations: (IAU, then other)

Spacecraft Name Means Mission
Apollo 13 LM Aquarius Aquarius Spaceship
Aries Aries Aries Missile
Capricorn CapricornCapricorn Data relay satellite
Centaur Centaur Centaur Rocket stage
OSC Cygnus Cygnus Cygnus Cargo ship
CORSA-b Hakucho Cygnus [Swan] X-ray astronomy
Gemini Gemini Gemini [Twins] spaceship
Zenit-4MKM Gerakl' Hercules (Russian) spy satellite
Zenit-4MT Orion Orion (Russian) spy satellite
Apollo 16 LM Orion Orion Spaceship
Orion Orion Orion Communications sat
Astro-b Tenma Pegasus (Japanese) X-ray astronomy
NEE-01 Pegaso Pegaso Pegasus (Ecuador) Test satellite
Pegasus Pegasus Pegasus Space physics
Pegasus Pegasus Pegasus Launch vehicle
Perseus Perseus Perseus Tech sats
ASTRO A Hinotori Phoenix (Japanese) Solar physics
Mars Phoenix Phoenix Phoenix Mars probe
Yantar'-2K Feniks Phoenix (Russian) spy satellite
Taurus Taurus Taurus Launch vehicle
Beidou Beidou Ursa Major (Chinese) Navigation satellite
Vela Vela Vela Military Spacecraft
Parus Parus Vela [Sail](Russian) Navigation
ASTRO-E2 Suzaku Suzaku (red bird) X-ray astronomy

Other astronomical names:

Spacecraft Name Means Mission
Mercury Mercury Mercury Spaceship
CTS Hermes Mercury (Greek) Communications sat
Hermes Hermes Mercury (Greek) Missile
Zenit-4MK Germes Hermes/Mercury (Russian) spy satellite
MV Venera Venus (Russian) Venus probe
VEP Myojo Venus (Japanese) Test satellite
EOS-AM-1 Terra Earth (Latin) Earth observing
Prithvi Prithvi Earth (Sanskrit) Missile
RapidEye 3 Choma Earth (Greek) Imaging
Gaia Gaia Earth (Greek) Astronomy
MV Mars Mars (Russian) Mars probe
Jupiter Jupiter Jupiter Launch vehicle
GSTB Giove Jupiter (Italian)Nav satellite
Saturn Saturn Saturn Launch vehicle
1F Fobos Phobos (Russian) Phobos probe
E-1 to E-8 Luna Moon (Russian) Lunar probes
Selene Selene Moon (Greek) Lunar probe
BadrBadrFull moon (Urdu) Communications sat
BadrBadrFull moon (Arabic) Communications sat
Chandrayaan ChandrayaanMoon vehicle (Sanskrit)Lunar probe
Yantar'-1KFTKometa Comet (Russian) Mapping
Planet A Suisei Comet (Japanese) Comet probe
Shaviyt Shaviyt Comet (Hebrew) Launch vehicle
OREX Ryusei Meteor (Japanese)Reentry test
Meteor Meteor Meteor (Russian) Weather
Shahab Shahab Meteor (Persian) Missile
Shinsei Shinsei Nova (Japanese) Space science
Parallax Parallax Parallax Communications
Thuraya Thuraya Pleiades (Arabic) Communications sat
Pleiades Pleiades Pleiades French recon sat
TECSAR Polaris Polaris Israeli recon sat
Polaris Polaris Polaris Missile
RapidEye 4 Choros Space (Greek) Imaging
Astro-C Ginga Galaxy (Japanese) X-ray astronomy
Galaxy Galaxy Galaxy Communications sat
Zenit Zenit Zenith (Russian) spy satellite
Zenit Zenit Zenith (Russian) Launch vehicle
Gorizont Gorizont Horizon (Russian) Communications sat
'Ofeq 'Ofeq Horizon (Hebrew) Test satellite
New HorizonsNew HorizonsHorizons, New Pluto probe
RapidEye 5 Trochia Orbit (Greek) Imaging
NNS Transit Transit Navigation
Meridian Meridian Meridian (Russian) Communications
Koronas Koronas Corona (Russian) Solar
CORONA CORONA Corona Spy satellite
Spacelab Astro Astro Shuttle payload
1A Astron UV astronomy
Kosmos-1066 Astrofizika Astrophysics (Russian) ?
Agena Agena Agena Rocket stage
Al'tair Al'tair Altair (Russian) Data relay sat
X-248 Altair Altair Rocket stage
Rohini Rohini Aldebaran (Sanskrit) Technology
Apollo 14 LM Antares Antares Spaceship
Sirius Sirius Sirius Communications sat
CR Radio Sirius Sirius Communications sat
5VK Vega Vega Space probe (actually VEnera-GAlley)
Various Kosmos Space (Russian) Various
Stella Stella Star (Latin) Geodesy
Astra Astra Star (Latin) Communications sat
Yahsat Al Yah Star (Arabic) Comms
Stardust Stardust Stardust Space probe
StarletteStarlette Little Star (French) Geodesy
Telstar 14Estrela do SulSouthern Star (Portuguese?)Communications sat
KITSAT Uribyol Our Star (Korean) Communications sat
StarshineStarshine Geodesy
Helios Helios Sun/Helios German space probe
Helios Helios Sun/Helios French spy sat
Gelios Gelios Sun/Helios (Russian) Data relay sat
SRATS Taiyo Sun (Japanese) Solar physics
Tianhui Tianhui Sky Mapper (Chinese) Imaging sat

Other mythological names

Spacecraft Name Means Mission
Eole Eole Aeolus (French) Weather
Aeneas Aeneas Aeneas Tech sat
Apollo Apollo Apollo Spaceship
Ariane Ariane Ariadne (French) Launch vehicle
Ariel Ariel Ariel Space physics
Artemis Artemis Artemis Communications sat
Artemis 1/2 Artemis Artemis Lunar probes
Athena Athena Athena Launch vehicle
Atlas Atlas Atlas Launch vehicle
Atlas Atlas Atlas Shuttle payload
OV-104 Atlantis Atlantis Spaceship
ESRO 1B Boreas Boreas Space science
Caerus Caerus Caerus Tech sat
Calipso Calipso Calypso Remote sensing
D-5 Castor Castor Technology
Castor Castor Castor Rocket stage
Krysaor Chrysaor Chrysaor (golden sword) Satellite
DemeterDemeterDemeter Science sat
Dragon Dragon Dragon, Puff the Magic Space ship
Freja Freja Freya (Swedish) Space physics
Genesis Genesis Genesis Space probe
Goliat Goliat Goliath Cubesat
Genesis-1 Genesis Genesis Station module test
Zenit-2M Gektor Hector (Russian) spy satellite
Hera Hera Hera Missile
Hylas Hylas Hylas Comms sat
Ikar Ikar Icarus (Russian) Rocket stage
Ikaros Ikaros Icarus (Japanese) Space probe
Jason Jason Jason Earth observing
Juno Juno Juno Launch vehicle
Juno Juno Juno Jupiter probe
MIDAS Midas Midas Early warning
X-4 Miranda Miranda Technology
Minotaur Minotaur Minotaur Launch vehicle
Munin Munin Munin Space physics
Nike Nike Nike Rocket stage
Odin Odin Odin Space physics
Ulysses Ulysses Odysseos Solar probe (ESA)
L-SAT Olympus Olympus Communications sat
NOSS PARCAE Parcae spy satellite
D-5 Pollux Pollux Technology
TOPEX Poseidon Poseidon Oceanography
X-3 Prospero Prospero Technology
STARE Re Ra Space tracking
Mightysat 2-1 Sindri Sindri (Norse)Technology
Thesee Thesee Theseus (French) Technology
Themis Themis Themis Space science
Thor Thor Thor Launch vehicle
Thor Thor Thor Communications sat
Titan Titan Titan Launch vehicle
Agni Agni Fire god (Sanskrit?) Missile
MUSES HagoromoAngel's robe (Japanese) Lunar subsat
ETS-7 Hikoboshi Hikoboshi Test sat
MUSES A Hiten `Celestial maiden' (Japanese)Lunar probe
SELENE Kaguya Myth. lunar character (Japanese)Lunar probe
Chang'e Chang'e Myth. lunar character (Chinese)Lunar probe
RSTAR Okina Myth. character (Japanese)Lunar probe
ETS-7 target OrihimeOrihime Test sat
VRAD Ouna Myth. character (Japanese)Lunar probe
Shenzhou Shenzhou Divine Ship (Chinese) Spaceship
Horyu-2 Horyu Phoenix-Dragon Test satellite
A-1 Asterix Asterix Test satellite
CubeBug Capitan Beto Capitan Beto (song character) Technology
Apollo 10 CSM Charlie Brown Charlie Brown Spaceship
DSPSE Clementine Clementine Space probe
Clementine Clementine Clementine French military sat
Apollo 10 LM Snoopy Snoopy Spaceship
Apollo 16 CSM Casper Casper Spaceship
Artemis Pico Thelma Thelma Picosatellite
Artemis Pico Louise Louise Picosatellite
MAROC-Tubsat Zarkae al Yamama Blue Dove (Mythical heroine)Imaging sat

Exploration related names

Spacecraft Name Means Mission
3KV/3KD Voskhod Ascent (Russian) Spaceship
OV-099 Challenger Challenger Spaceship
Apollo 17 LM Challenger Challenger Spaceship
Kompass Kompass Compass (Russian) Test satellite
Compass Compass Compass (German) Aachen student satellite
Conestoga Conestoga Conestoga Launch vehicle
CORONA Discoverer Discoverer spy satellite
OV-103 Discovery Discovery Spaceship
OV-105 Endeavour Endeavor Spacehip
Apollo 15 CM Endeavour Endeavor Spacehip
Explorer Explorer Explorer Space science
MUSES B Haruka Far-away Radio astronomy
I2B Polyot Flight AntiSpacecraft
Fram Fram Forward (Norwegian; exploration ship) Earth observing
Apollo 12 LMIntrepid Intrepid spaceship
SumbandilaSumbandilaLead the way (Venda)Tech
QZSS MichibikiLead the way (Japanese)Navigation
Mariner Mariner Mariner Space probes
MO Observer Observer Space probe
Rasad Rasad Observation (Persian) Imaging satellite
Rasat Rasat Observation (Turkish) Imaging satellite
Yantar'-4K1 Oktan Octant (Russian) spy satellite
Apollo 13 CM Odyssey Odyssey Spaceship
Mars 2001 2001 Mars Odyssey Odyssey Mars probe
Pioneer Pioneer Pioneer Space probes
MS-T5 Sakigake Pioneer (Japanese) Space probe
L-1 Zond Probe (Russian) Spaceship
DSP Tan Ce Probe/Explorer (Chinese)Science sat
Ranger Ranger Ranger Lunar probe
Scout Scout Scout Launch vehicle
MIM-2 Poisk Search (Russian) Station module
Surveyor Surveyor Surveyor Lunar probe
TrailblazerTrailblazer Trailblazer Moon probe
Vanguard Vanguard Vanguard Space science
Viking Viking Viking Mars probes
Viking Viking Viking Swedish science sat
MJS Voyager Voyager Outer planet probes
Apollo 12 CSMYankee Clipper Yankee Clipper Spaceship

Physics related names

Spacecraft Name Means Mission
Luch Luch Beam (Russian) Communications sat
DRTS Kodama Echo (Japanese) Data relay
GOMS Elektro Electron (Russian) Weather
2D Elektron Electron (Russian) Space physics
Energiya Energiya Energy (Russian) Cosmic rays
Energiya Energiya Energy (Russian) Launch vehicle
Efir Efir Ether (Russian) Cosmic rays
Gamma Gamma Gamma (Russian) Gamma ray astronomy
ASTRO F Akari Light (Japanese) IR astronomy
IGS Kougaku Optics (Japanese) Spy sat
Foton Foton Photon (Russian) Materials science
N-4 Proton Proton (Russian) Space physics
UR-500 Proton Proton (Russian) Launch vehicle
37KE Kvant Quantum (Russian) Space station Sorunsat Kagayaki Radiance (Japanese)Test sat
REXS Denpa Radio Wave? (Japanese)Space science
Romb Romb Rhombus (Russian) Radar cal
Nauka Nauka Science (Russian) Subsatellite
Iskra Iskra Spark (Russian) Communications sat
77KS Spektr Spectrum (Russian) Space station
Spektr-R Spektr Spectrum (Russian) Astronomy
Sfera Sfera Sphere (Russian) Geodesy
Vektor Vektor Vector (Russian) Radar cal
D-1 Diapason Waveband (French) Geodesy

Chemical and mineral names

Spacecraft Name Means Mission
Agate Agate Agate (French) Missile
ARGON ARGON Argon spy satellite
Yantar' Kobalt Cobalt (Russian) spy satellite
Iridium Iridium Iridium Phone Spacecraft
Yantar' Yantar' Amber (Russian) spy satellite
77KS Kristall Crystal (Russian) Space station
D-1 Diademe Diadem (French) Geodesy
OPS Almaz Diamond (Russian) Space station
Diamant Diamant Diamond (French) Launch vehicle
Emeraude Emeraude Emerald (French) Rocket stage
1AS Granat Garnet (Russian) X-ray astronomy
Orlets Orlets Rhodonite (Russian) spy satellite
Rhyolite Rhyolite Rhyolite Intelligence satellite
Rubis Rubis Ruby (French) Rocket stage
Sapphire Sapphire Sapphire Test satellite
Sapphire Sapphire Sapphire Canadian surveillance sat
Saphir Saphir Sapphire (French) Missile
Topaze Topaze Topaz (French) Rocket stage

Geographical names

Spacecraft Name Means Mission
Africasat 1 Africasat 1 Africa Comms sat
Amazonas Amazonas Amazon R. Comms sat
Apollo 17 CM America America Spaceship
Anatolia 1 Anatolia 1 Anatolia Comms
ARGOS ARGOS Argos, GreeceResearch
OV-102 Columbia America (fig.) Spaceship
Apollo 11 CSM Columbia America (fig.) Spaceship
Australis Australis Australia Communications sat
China-DMC Beijing-1 Beijing Earth imaging
Dnepr Dnepr Dniepr (river) Launch vehicle
Europa Europa Europe (Latin) Launch vehicle
ASTRO-D Asuka Asuka (district) X-ray astronomy
JAS Fuji Mt Fuji (Japan) Communications sat
K-Sat Hayato Hayato, Kagoshima, JapanTest sat
Apollo 14 CM Kitty Hawk Kitty Hawk Spaceship
L-4S-5 Osumi Osumi district Test satellite
Rosetta Lander Philae Philae, Egypt Comet probe
RedstoneRedstoneRedstone Arsenal Launch vehicle
Rosetta Rosetta Rosetta, Egypt Comet probe
Syracuse Syracuse Syracuse, Sicily Comms satellite
Yantar' Terilen Terilen spy satellite
Tsinghua Tsinghua Tsinghua (China) Test satellite
Zeya Zeya Zeya river Communications sat
Yamal Yamal Yamal peninsula Communications sat
1K/3K Vostok East (Russian) Spaceship
Yug Yug South (Russian) Radar cal sat

Biological names

ISS Ume Apricot blossom (Japanese) Space physics
Beagle-2Beagle-2Beagle Mars probe
Cerise Cerise Cherry (French) Military sat
CS Sakura Cherry Blossom (Japanese) Communications sat
MABES Jindai Cherry tree (Japanese) Technology
ETS Kiku Chrysanthenum (Japanese) Test sat
Sterkh Sterkh White Crane (Russian)Comms sat
Tsikada Tsikada Cricket (Russian) Navigation
Dove-1 Dove Dove Imaging satellite
Apollo 11 LM Eagle Eagle Spaceship
Agila Agila Eagle (Spanish) Communications sat
Garuda Garuda Eagle (Sanskrit) Communications sat
Shaheen Shaheen White Eagle (Urdu?) Missile
Apollo 15 LM Falcon Falcon Spaceship
MUSES C Hayabusa Falcon (Japanese) Asteroid probe
Falcon 9 Falcon Falcon (after Millenium Falcon) Launch vehicle
Falconsat Falcon(sat) Falcon Test satellite
Jugnu Jugnu Firefly (Hindi) Technology satellite
Kolibri Kolibri Hummingbird Educational sat
EGP Ajisai Hydrangea (Japanese) Geodesy
ECS Ayame Iris (Japanese) Communications sat
Chibis Chibis Lapwing (Russian) Space physics
Alouette Alouette Lark (French) Space physics
YuriYuri Lily (Japanese) Communications sat
Prisma-M Mango Mango Test sat
Mimosa Mimosa Mimosa (Albizia julibrissin)Atmospheric research
MO-46 Tiung(sat) Myna bird (Malay) Earth observing
MOS Momo Peach blossom (Japanese) Earth observing
P87-1 Polar Bear Polar Bear Space physics
RT-2M Topol' Poplar (tree) Missile
JERS Fuyo Rose Mallow (Japanese) Earth observing
KoreasatMugunghwa Sharon's Rose Communications sat
Apollo 9 LM Spider Spider Spaceship
HTV-2 Kounotori Stork (Japanese) Cargo ship
Aist-2 Aist Stork (Russian) Technology sat
Tournesol Tournesol Sunflower (French) Astronomy
GMS Himawari Sunflower (Japanese) Weather
Essaim Essaim Swarm (French) Signals intelligence
TerriersTerriers Terrier Space physics (college mascot)
Nahuel Nahuel Tiger (Araucano) Communications sat

Meteorological and geological names

Aurora Aurora Aurora Space science
ESRO 1A Aurorae Aurora Space science
EXOS Kyokko Aurora (Japanese) Space science
MA-7 Aurora Aurora Spaceship
Satcom 5 Aurora Aurora Communications sat
Nimbus Nimbus Cloud (Latin) Weather
11K68 Tsiklon Cyclone (Russian) Launch vehicle
Tsiklon Tsiklon Cyclone (Russian) navigation
Dawn Dawn Dawn Asteroid probe
EXOS Akebono Dawn (Japanese) Space science
PLANET C Akatsuki Dawn, Daybreak (Japanese) Venus probe
INDEX Reimei Dawn (Japanese) Test satellite
FGB Zarya Dawn (Russian) Space station module
MIM-1 Rassvet Dawn (Russian) Space station module
New Dawn New Dawn New Dawn Comms
GCOM W1 Shizuku Dewdrop Climate
GRAIL A Ebb Ebb Lunar probe
GRAIL B Flow Flow Lunar probe
Prognoz Prognoz Forecast (Russian) Surveillance
Geotail GeotailGeotail Space physics
Geizer Geizer Geyser (Russian) Communications sat
Aureole Aureole Halo (French) Space science
GLONASS Uragan Hurricane (Russian)Navigation
EXOS Jikiken Magnetosphere (Japanese) Space science
ALOS Daichi Land (Japanese) Earth observing
Molniya Molniya Lightning (Russian ) Communications sat
Musson Musson Monsoon (Russian) Geodesy
77KS Priroda Nature (Russian) Space station
Okean Okean Ocean (Russian) Earth observing
HY-1 Hai Yang Ocean (Chinese) Oceanography
AUOS Oval Oval (Russian) Space science
Pehuensat Pehuen(sat)Pehuen (Araucaria araucana tree) Amateur sat
Polar PolarPolar Space physics
Rainbow-1 Rainbow Rainbow Comms satellite
Raduga Raduga Rainbow (Russian) Communications sat
EXOS Ohzora Sky (Japanese) Space science
Ciel 1 Ciel 1 Sky (French) Communications
Buran Buran Snowstorm (Russian) Spaceship
FB Feng Bao Storm (Chinese) Launch vehicle
Dong Feng Dong Feng East Wind Rocket
FY Feng Yun Wind and Cloud (Chinese) Weather
Wind Wind Wind Space physics
SOLAR A Yohkoh Sunlight (Japanese) Solar physics
SOLAR B Hinode Sunrise (Japanese) Solar physics
Tselina Tselina Untouched Soil (Russian) Intelligence
EOS PM Aqua Water (Latin) Earth observing

Ideological names

COMETS Kakehashi Bridge Communications sat
Telesat Anik Brother (Inuit) Communications sat
MSL Curiosity Curiosity Mars probe
US Lab Destiny Destiny Space station module
DFH Dong Fang Hong East Is Red (Chinese) Test sat
MA-9 Faith Faith Spaceship
MR-3 Freedom Freedom Spaceship
SAS 1 Uhuru Freedom (Swahili)X-ray astronomy
MA-6 Friendship Friendship Spaceship
Node 2 Harmony Harmony Space station module
Navid Navid Herald, Good News (Farsi) Test satellite
Tsikada Nadezhda Hope (Russian) Search and rescue
JEM Kibo Hope (Japanese) Station module
PLANET B Nozomi Hope (Japanese) Mars probe
Omid Omid Hope (Persian) Test sat
MR-4 Liberty Bell Liberty Bell Spaceship
Libertad Libertad Liberty Colombian satellite
CZ Chang Zheng Long March Launch vehicle
LGM-30 Minuteman Minuteman Missile
KKS-1 Kiseki Miracle (Japanese)Test sat
MER-B OpportunityOpportunity Mars rover
DOS Mir Peace, World (Russian) Space station
MX Peacekeeper Peacekeeper Missile
7K-TG Progress Progress (Russian) Cargo ship
DOS Salyut Salute (Russian) Space station
Solidaridad Solidaridad Solidarity (Spanish) Communications sat
MER-A Spirit Spirit Mars rover
Node 3 Tranquility Tranquility Station module
7K Soyuz Union (Russian) Spaceship
Palapa Palapa Unity (Indonesian) Communications sat
Node 1 Unity Unity Space station
Telesat DBSNimiq Unity (Inuit)Communications sat
NegaiNegai Wish (Japanese) Test sat
YouthsatYouthsat Youth Tech
GOSATIbuki Vitality (Japanese) Tech

Names of weapons

Spacecraft Name Means Mission
Strela Strela Arrow (Russian) Communications sat
Black Arrow Black Arrow Arrow Launch vehicle
Mech Mech Sword (Russian) Radar Spacecraft
Haft Haft 'Vengeance', Sword of MuhammadMissile


Spacecraft Name Means Mission
GRS Azur Blue (German) Space physics
Tansei Tansei Light blue (Japanese) Test satellite
ADEOS Midori Green (Japanese) Earth observing

Phonetic and Greek alphabets

Spacecraft Name Means Mission
Able Able, Ablestar Able Rocket stage
Delta Delta Delta Rocket stage, Launch vehicle
Echo Echo Echo Communications sat
NNS-O Oscar Oscar Navigation sat
MA-8 Sigma Sigma Spaceship
Omega Omega Omega Weather sat

Communications related

Spacecraft Name Means Mission
Gonets Gonets Courier (Russian) Communications sat
Courier Courier Courier Communications sat
Ekspress Ekspress Express (Russian) Communications sat
WINDS Kizuna Bonds (Japanese) Communications sat
RS Radio Radio (Russian) Communications sat
TL Tian Lian ? Day-chain? (Chinese) Communications sat
Relay Relay Relay Communications sat
Ekran Ekran Screen (Russian) Communications sat
ZX-22 Feng Huo Fire and Smoke, Beacon Fire (Chinese) Military Comms
ZX-2A Shentong Communication with the DivineStrategic comms sat

Musical names

Spacecraft Name Means Mission
XM Radio 4 Blues Blues Radio broadcast
XM Radio 3 Rhythm Rhythm Radio broadcast
XM Radio 2 Rock Rock Radio broadcast
XM Radio 1 Roll Roll Radio broadcast
Cluster Rumba Rumba Space physics
Cluster Salsa Salsa Space physics
Cluster Samba Samba Space physics
Symphonie Symphonie Symphony (French) Communications sat
Cluster Tango Tango Space physics
Prisma-T Tango Tango Tech sat
Tempo Tempo Tempo Communications sat

Contrived names

Spacecraft Name Means Mission
Aeros Aeros Atmospheric
Alexis Alexis (Acronym) X-ray astronomy
Bion Bion Life sciences
Lunokhod Lunokhod Moonwalker Robot
Magion Magion Space physics
Orbus Orbus Rocket stage
Seasat Seasat Earth observing
Skylab Skylab Skylab Space station
Spacelab SpacelabSpacelab Space lab
Transtage Transtage Rocket stage
Vinasat VinasatVietnamese satellite


Spacecraft Name Means Mission
AUOS Aktivniy Active (Russian) Space physics
AUOS Apeks Apex (Russian) Space physics
Oblik Oblik Appearance (Russian) Spy satellite
Kompsat Arirang Arirang (name of folk song)Test satellite
Arsene Arsene Arsene (French name) Communications sat
AubieSat AubieSat Aubie (Nickname for university)Cubesat
D2B Aura Aura (French) Astronomy
EOS Aura Aura Earth observing
Deep ImpactDeep Impact Deep Impact Comet probe
RapidEye 2 Mati Eye (Greek)Imaging
Oko Oko Eye (Russian) Surveillance
Feuerrad Feuerrad Firewheel (German) Space physics
OICETS Kirari Glitter (Japanese)Test satellite
Apollo 9 CSMGumdrop Gumdrop Spaceship
Injun 6 Hawkeye Hawkeye Space physics
Ikonos Ikonos Image (Greek) Imaging
LACROSSELACROSSE Lacrosse spy satellite
LANYARD LANYARD Lanyard spy satellite
Start Start Launch (Russian) Launch vehicle
Monitor Monitor Monitor (Russian) Earth observing
Injun Injun Native American (US slang) Space physics
DEBUT Orizuru Origami crane (Japanese) Test satellite
Parasol Parasol Parasol (French) Earth observing
Pirs Pirs Pier (Russian) Station module
Yaogan Yaogan Remote Sensing (Chinese) Earth observing
Resurs Resurs Resource (Russian) Earth observing
ZY Zi Yuan Resource (Chinese) Earth observing
Rokot Rokot Roar, Rumble (Russian) Launch vehicle
Zenit-4M Rotor Rotor (Russian) spy satellite
SAR-Lupe SAR-Lupe Magnifying glass (German) Radar
Sich Sich Sickle (Ukrainian) Earth observing
Skipper Skipper Skipper Technology
Spartan Spartan Spartan Technology; really acronym
Spartan Spartan Spartan Missile
Spirale Spirale Spiral (French) Early warning sat
Etalon Etalon Standard (Russian) Geodesy
STENSATSTENSAT Stenhouse (nickname of house)Communications sat
Swift Swift Swift Astronomy sat
Gals Gals Tack (Russian) Communications sat
MDS Tsubasa Wing (Japanese) Comms sat
WEOS Kanta-Kun Earth observing
Maido Maido (Japanese slang greeting) Comms
Elisa Elisa (personal name, French) Elint
ChollianChollianThousand-li View (Korean) Comms
PRISMHitomi (personal name, Japanese) Test sat
RapidEye 1Tachys Rapid (Greek)Imaging

Communications sat names include:

Syncom, Relay, Orbcomm, Telecom, Satcom, Thaicom, Tele-X, Telstar, Westar, Globalstar, Zhongwei (Chinastar), Apstar, N-Star, Gstar, Echostar, Gemstar, Comstar, Milstar, Italsat, Macsat, Microsat, Darpasat, Intelsat, Marisat, JCSAT, Brasilsat, TV-sat, Turksat, Arabsat, Aussat, Measat, Bsat, Insat, Kupon, Panamsat, Leasat, Zhongxing (Chinasat), Eutelsat, Inmarsat, Hispasat, Koreasat, Asiasat, Spacenet, Skynet, Early Bird, Lani Bird, Superbird, Hot Bird, Nilesat, Eurobird, Europestar.