Re: Satellite Names

Stephen Hunt (hunt@ll.mit.edu)
Fri, 6 Jun 97 07:19:58+120

For my 2-cents worth on this matter ...

I worked on Hubble pre-launch ... I agree with Philip Chieng that many of
us used to call it "ST" or "Space Telescope" in the old days -- and still
do sometimes -- but "HST" and "Hubble" seems to be more dominant nowadays.

I'm currently working on GRO for the 2nd time in my career, and also agree
with Philip to a point -- "GRO" comes out much more naturally, but I see
many attempts at integrating "CGRO" into Email and memos ... though "C-GRO"
is very rarely stated out loud.

The folks I work with on XTE have never, to my knowledge, referred to its
extended name ... I'll have to ask them about that!

Steve Walter

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>>Why is Hubble Space Telescope called HST, but Compton Gamma-Ray
>>Observatory called GRO rather than CGRO?
...

>Hubble was originally known as the Large Space Telescope, and then later
>the Space Telescope.  (Large was dropped because it was feared that
>Congress would be worried about large implying a LARGE price tag - another
>understatement.)  And many old-timers still just call it the Space
>Telescope, or even just "ST".  But many years before launch it was renamed
>the Hubble Space Telescope after Edwin Hubble.  So everybody knows it as
>Hubble.
>
>In the case of the Gamma Ray Observatory it was renamed _after_ launch as
>the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (CGRO) after Arthur Compton.  It's
>somewhat confusing since one of the four science instruments is already
>named after Compton - so are you talking about the specific instrument or
>the entire spacecraft when you refer to "Compton".  While the full name is
>used, and even the acronym, more often than not I'll still see references
>to just plain GRO.  It's easier to pronounce, and much more familiar.
>Especially since I've got a fairly large stack of prelaunch literature
>which refers to it that way!
>
>The X-Ray Timing Explorer (XTE) was renamed after launch as the Rossini
>(sp?) XTE and I have _VERY_ rarely seen any references in that form.