Wikipedia:WikiProject Spaceflight/Article titles

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All article titles should follow official Wikipedia policies, which can be found at Wikipedia:Article titles. In many cases the absence of specific guidelines for spaceflight articles have led to inconsistency in the naming of articles within this project's scope. This advice page describes the interpretation of this policy by members of WikiProject Spaceflight to ensure consistency in spaceflight-related article titles.


  • When article titles requires disambiguation, we prefer to use "(spacecraft)" or "(satellite)". For example, instead of "Rosetta (space mission)", or "Rosetta (space probe)", we prefer to use Rosetta (spacecraft). Instead of "Helios probes", we prefer Helios (spacecraft).
  • "(spacecraft)" for all manned and cargo spacecraft, for vehicles not designed to operate in geocentric orbit or in independent flight.
  • "(satellite)" should be used for unmanned spacecraft operating independently in geocentric orbit, which do not meet the above criteria.
  • We prefer not to include the name of the manufacturer or developer in the article title, unless necessary. For example, instead of "SpaceX Dragon", we prefer Dragon (spacecraft).
  • Some spacecraft have different names to refer to them before and after launch (for example, Japanese satellites are typically known by an acronym before launch, and a more abstract name afterwards: eg. PLANET-C became Akatsuki after launch). The most recent name should be used where possible, unless there is a consensus to do otherwise.
  • Titles should not include more than one name, even if it is only for the purpose of disambiguation.


Articles about rockets should be named according to the guidelines of WikiProject Rocketry:

  • All disambiguators that are not part of the rocket or missile's official name should be in parenthesis
  • Titles for missiles should follow one of the following formats (in order of preference)
    • [Official designation] [Name] (eg PGM-17 Thor)
    • [Name] or [Official designation], if one is not available (eg. V-2)
    • [Name] (missile) or [Official designation] (missile) if one is not available, and the other is ambiguous (eg R-36 (missile)
  • Local designations should take precedence over NATO and US Library of Congress designations (eg. R-7 Semyorka not SS-6 Sapwood)
  • Families of rockets should be disambiguated using (rocket family) where there is ambiguity
  • Individual rockets should be disambiguated using (rocket) when there is ambiguity
  • When there is no ambiguity, there should be no disambiguation
  • Within families of rockets, there should be an overview article for the family, and individual articles for the variants
  • In some cases subgroups of a family can have their own articles


In the rare cases where an article for a single launch is justified, such articles should be titled using the name of the carrier rocket and either the flight number of the launch, or the serial number of the rocket used. If the these numbers are not known the format "[Month] [Year] [Rocket] launch failure" may be used instead. For example: