[FPSPACE] Re: Nomenclature
Dwayne Allen Day
Tue, 16 Jan 2001 16:23:40 -0500 (EST)
Please allow me to comment on something I know practically nothing
On Tue, 16 Jan 2001, Robert G Kennedy III wrote:
> Not to mention the hated (by me) SL-nn designations. Not only is it at
> least as obscure at the Soviet article number system, but it's occasionally
> incorrect and misleading as well (sometimes groups things that shouldn't
The SL designations were based upon US intelligence assessments of
Soviet/Russian rockets, so naturally they're going to be short on
information. Change the third stage and the Defense Dept. might never
In addition, I believe that this designation system is discontinued. It
makes no sense to use it if the designations will not be applied to new
> be, doesn't group things that should). I wish to hell TRW would quit using
TRW is a defense contractor. They take all of their cues on the Space Log
from the DoD. I don't think they have even formally included the names of
US CORONA satellites yet, even though the program was declassified awhile
back. And they have no incentive to "scrub" their list to clean it
up. It's annoying, but there you go.
> The Sheldon system maps to technical "families" and major block versions
> rather well, and also maps to era (time of development), more or less. "A"
> unambiguous. I suggest using Sheldon's system with the Soviet article
> number in parentheses to be precise in a scholarly article. When writing a
> popular article, put the popular name (e.g. "Proton") in parentheses and
> quotes, to be used just in the context of that article. Remember,
> policymakers read this stuff, and the political types are even more easily
> confused than engineers like me.
Except for the big problem that Sheldon is dead and isn't classifying new
rockets. So you run into exactly the same problem as the SL system.
> Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway) the American commercial naming
> system is truly abysmal. far worse than even the Soviet popular names.
> Totally lacking in clarity or consistency. For instance, which is correct -
> Roman or Arabic numerals? The point of shorthand is to *save* time, not
> consume it. Couldn't be worse if we were *trying* to deceive the reader.
And how is it any different from classifying automobiles or airplanes?