Otherwise, if you’re taking on a mission of vital or, let’s say, hubristic scale, the names of Greek tragic figures should generally be avoided. Bellerophon, for example. Sure, he was pretty mighty, and a good flyer, but he ended his life “as a blinded crippled hermit.” Narcissus, similarly, is not a very good name for your escape pod. And the Nostromo—don’t you guys still read Conrad? At that point you might as well go ahead and christen your ship the GSS Suicidal Insanity or the Starship Titanic.
Finally, if it’s 2089, and you’re blasting off to investigate what might be the alien origins of mankind, you may be considering the name “the Prometheus.” If so, I strongly advise that you reconsider. I don’t know exactly how your journey will turn out, but I suspect that it will not go well. Remember the eagle who ate Prometheus’s liver every day, with said liver then growing back and getting eaten again the next day? Do you really want to end up with things tearing into your stomach?
A disaster planner’s guide to naming your spaceship. (Normandy is out.)
Slate advises on the right and wrong ways to name your galactic vessel. (Icarus is a terrible one):