Re: How Star Trek fans sunk the Constitution on behalf of the Enterpri I should like to point out there is a striking lack of primary documentation saying that NASA had ever intended to name the first space shuttle orbiter (OV-101) Constitution. Even ordinarily quite good resources, such as Heppenheimer's detailed histories of the Space Shuttle's development and construction, pass along reports of the name change without ever citing a NASA memorandum or report on 1976 orbiter name suggestions. There are quite good references to the name selection process from 1978 (when Columbia, Challenger, and Discovery were named), broken down into what the names might refer to and what connotations they might offer; and there are voluminous ones from the late 80s when the need to name another orbiter came about. But an actual NASA memorandum from 1975 or 1976 specifying that OV-101 would be named Constitution? I have not come across it, nor found anyone who has, in my inquiries to space historians. (I admit I haven't asked Heppenheimer, but really ought to.) Note that I am not asserting that Constitution wasn't pencilled in as a name; merely that I have not found any primary sources which state that it was. If Constitution was the name selected, then who are the people who selected it, and when was it selected, and where is that decision recorded? Note that no popular account of the Constitution name change answers those questions. (I can provide names and dates for the 1978 name reviews, for example, and don't just because I would have to walk all the way downstairs to get my reference for it; if you really wish to know, however, I can provide names and dates.) It does not satisfy the thoughtful historian to say ``NASA suggested the name'', as ``NASA'' is hundreds of thousands of people, and not all of them were involved in shuttle naming, and they surely did not come to spontaneous unanimous agreement without discussion or thought. Given the lack of evidence, however, I submit that it is more likely that no particular thought was given to naming the orbiters at all, at least before Trekkies got into the game. Proving there wasn't such thought is hard to do, but I think anyone arguing that there were names in mind has to explain the curious anomaly in NASA SP-4402, Origins Of NASA Names, http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4402/ch4.htm, which identifies origins of the names for all NASA projects, including space capsules, and including proposed but rejected names, up to 1976. While the ``Space Shuttle'' name is traced and explained, there is no suggestion that any names for the individual orbiters has been given, nor that it's been under consideration. Given that this is a book that sees the need to describe why the ``Orbiting Frog Otolith'' satellite was called that (and it was an orbiting satellite to study frog otoliths, the inner ear balance mechanism), it is bizarre that SP-4402 would omit surely the most interesting naming question of 1976. Note that no Gemini capsules were named after Gemini 3 (though the earliest astronauts had some names in mind), nor were Apollo capsules named except when there would be two vehicles from the same mission operating simultaneously. There would not, by 1976-era mission planning, ever be two shuttles from the same mission orbiting simultaneously. Radio communications --- the primary need for vehicle names --- would have been satisfied by using the mission number, as was done with Gemini 7 and 6 flew simultaneously. In short: while it has been a popular story since the shuttle Enterprise was debuted to say that it would have been named Constitution if not for the Trekkies, I point out there is a distinct lack of primary evidence that there was any name in mind for the first shuttle orbiter vehicle before the Trekkie campaign.