The days of private spaceflight are almost upon us. Which means that perhaps my ambition of going into space before I die still may happen. If I managed to become a billionaire. But before we cheer the incoming privateers of space (and the attendant space operas that go with them) let us pause to mark what may have passed. It appears to be the end of spacecraft having really cool names.

Sputnik, Soyuz, Apollo XI, Challenger, Saturn V – what great names. Burt Rutan, the man behind this private bid, may have a shit name himself (though of course a name of one of Doctor Who’s least seen and best designed aliens), but that is no excuse to give his rocket a shit name too. SpaceShipOne is only funky with regards to its run-on and capitals. Imagine the history of the automobile is the notably not imaginative Henry Ford had plumped with the Ford Car.

(Admittedly the Ford Ka is knocking about now – but hey, that’s irony.)