Aviation giant Boeing has decided to try to conquer low orbit as well as the air. The private aeronautics company announced today that their CST-100 spacecraft, which they hope will begin ferrying astronauts to the International Space Station in 2017, will be dubbed “The Starliner.” This, evidently, was the best they could come up with.
Like the old Apollo missions, Boeing’s pyramid-shaped craft will be launched from the top of a rocket and separate into a capsule that can carry up to seven passengers to the ISS. The craft is designed to replace the NASA Space Shuttle, which was retired in 2011.
Boeing is the only other private spaceflight company besides Elon Musk’s SpaceX to hold a contract with NASA, which is a shame because they didn’t think of giving their cutting edge spaceship a more kickass name. At least SpaceX’s ship is called the “Dragon.” Ask yourself, do you want to go into space on a yawn-inducing Starliner, or do you want to rocket to the goddamn outer reaches of our atmosphere in a blaze of rocket-fueled glory in the Dragon? Cue the sick guitar solo.
The name “Starliner” is so boring that outlets like Mashable reporting it on the news couldn’t even manage to get the name right:
Starliner? Spaceliner? What’s the difference? We totally understand the mistake since you usually want to forget about Boeing immediately after flying on one of their noisy, cramped planes. But why not make this list of fictional spacecraft into a real-life list with a badass name to turn that reputation around? And just think, SpaceX named their spaceship after a song about smoking weed! Boeing, however, just went the whole uniformity route (their 787 airplane is called the “Dreamliner”).
And we get it, multi-billion dollar companies don’t like mixing things up. But seriously, how are you going to get the next generation excited about the possibilities of space travel by naming your spaceship something as bland as “Starliner?” Let’s hope the next craft they come up with has a little more flair.