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Old September 12 2012, 08:57 AM   #40
Re: USS Copernicus, NCC-640 or 623?

Besides, "fathers and mothers of rocketry" is a theme that would have been used in spacecraft since time immemorial, meaning that the names on 23rd century starships would be "recycled" ones. Now, the Royal Navy is fond of recycling entire thematic collections of names (for each generation of ships, there's a County class, Town class, Tribal class, Castle class, River class and/or Quality class), but the USN tends to pick and choose: only heroic examples get immortalized by a reuse of name. Thus, a famous old carrier name originally thematically applied (battle site theme) may now be the name for a destroyer (for which there is no unifying theme). In contrast, insignificant ships like minehunters get thematic or alliterative names.

We have every reason to think that Starfleet picks and chooses as well: while lesser ship types may get thematic names (runabouts are River class), bigger ones seem to get famous names (so we e.g. witness US battle site = aircraft carrier names being distributed across multiple dissimilar classes, while none of these classes uses solely the names of US battle sites or carriers).

So USS Goddard may already be in "better" use by the time the Oberth class comes along. Certainly later Oberth names appear diverse, including e.g. freedom fighters who had nothing to do with astronautics or astronomy.

Timo Saloniemi
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