I seem to recall reading somewhere -- possibly a non-canon source -- that, at least in the TOS era, it was a starship captain's prerogative to choose names for his ship's shuttlecraft. Maybe Kirk had a thing for historic astronomers and explorers.
As Mr. Spock would say, "fascinating".
Like many 'Trek'
aficionados focused on the technical aspects of the franchise, I've thought of names for both starships and shuttlecraft, particularly in the TOS era. Here are a few of my favorite personal examples:
"Laika" - the dog that was launched by the Soviets on Sputnik 2 in 1957. To me, this would definitely be a name for a shuttlecraft.
"Melville" - named after American writer Herman Melville (1819-91), the author of Moby-Dick
. This one is tough. In the 'Trek'
universe, would his name merit a christening upon a starship or a shuttlecraft?
"Braille" - named after Louis Braille (1809-52), the blind French educator who invented the Braille alphabet. Another tough one. Starship or shuttlecraft?
I like to think that, in the TOS universe, a selected name would be used on a shuttlecraft in one era and a starship in another. Of course, the selection and assignment of a name would depend on a myriad of factors, like personal choice, influence reflective of Federation ideals, etc.