I think the dedication plaque wasn't nearly visible enough to confirm a "USS" prefix, whereas both Picard and Data called the vessel "SS Tsiolkovsky". I think this article should be moved, unless someone finds a good shot of the plaque. -- Cid Highwind 14:56, 18 Aug 2005 (UTC)

The dedication plaque (from Okuda's portfolio) featured two initials that were supposed to read "K. E. Tsiolkovsky", with no prefix (but listed the name "K.Z. Tsiopkovskiy" when translated from the Cyrillic -- an error, apparently) -- but it listed it as an NCC registry Starfleet vessel. In this case, I find no problem believing it was in fact a Starfleet registered ship with a (non-military?) different prefix, although the USS Tsiolkovsky is probably a useful redirect. -- Captain Mike K. Barteltalk 15:41, 18 Aug 2005 (UTC)

The dedication plaque identified the vessel as a Starfleet registered vessel, whereas, Captain Picard identified it as the SS Tsiolkovsky.

SS prefix is supposed to denote civilian ships, but the dedication plaque is starfleet. Can we conclude that this ship was first build for starfleet, and later given/sold/leased/whatever to a civilian agency? or is this too much specultion for Memory Alpha's Guidelines? --Rami 22:35, 14 Nov 2005 (UTC)

A member of the crew wore a Starfleet uniform however, so i dont think that theory is completely borne out.
By the way, since the plaque reads "K.E. Tsiolkovsky", would that make the full name (and correct name of the article) "SS K.E. Tsiolkovsky"? -- Captain M.K.B. 17:00, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Its not really "K" "E". "E" is actually a backwards "E", a greek character. To have it is a forward "E" would be no more accurate (possibly less accurate?) than just plain having it in english. --OuroborosCobra 17:08, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Whoops, forgot to say, the "K" backwards "E" are, once translated into english, SS. If we made it "SS K.E. Tsiolkovsky", we would essentially be saying "SS SS Tsiolkovsky". --OuroborosCobra 17:10, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
I don't think that is correct. It's been a while since I did russian, but I think K makes K sound and the backwards E symbol makes a Z sound? Something like that. Jaf 17:17, 15 June 2006 (UTC)Jaf
Other archivists have already given their interpretations of this: the wrong style writing was used on the plaque, but it was intended to read "K.E." because the person this ship is named after.
from the plaque article:The Russian text К. З. ЦИОЛКОВСКИЙ is misspelled: as the ship is supposedly named for the Russian rocket scientist Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky, it should read К. Э. ЦИОЛКОВСКИЙ. It would appear that the artist failed to recognize the subtle difference between the letters З (Z) and Э (E).
I think its a minor typo and its pretty clear what the original writer meant -- Captain M.K.B. 17:22, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

USS/SS explanationEdit

the speculative explanation of the USS/SS issue is really overdone. The paralells to the US military are pretty irrelevant. We could add an explanation without so much speculation, and without a particular need to make Starfleet conform to US Navy standards. -- Captain M.K.B. 21:28, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

I wondered after I wrote it if the sentences starting with "The crew members..." might have been too much, but I think the lines before that explain an issue that many have wondered about. The ship has an NCC #, and it was commissioned. But it was clearly called SS in the episode. There is clear precedent for this in the U.S. Navy (which is the source of the TNG Federations ranks, structure, ship names, etc.).
The current practice of only active commissioned ships being called USS (vs SS etc.) just fits too well. —MJBurragetalk • 22:12, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

So, seeing as we have a Starfleet-registered ship, with Starfleet servicepeople aboard, but bearing an exceptional (and possibly "non-commissioned") name prefix, on a non-military research mission, maybe the note should hit the points about the episode and the mixed message first, listing all of the references directly taken from the episode, and the have a finishing caveat that this is parallel to (but not definitely known to be) the same as the US Navy practice of making the distinction between the types of service a ship performs with its prefix. That way, we achieve the first goal -- explaining the Star Trek episode's details -- and then follow up with a secondary goal, which is providing interesting anecdotal data about how this paralells US military. I think its a good improvement to the article to explain we're not sure why the prefix is different, but present this likely possibility. -- Captain M.K.B. 22:56, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

temp plaque?Edit

I removed a note about the SS Tsiolkovsky dedication plaque's appearance. It seemed a bit subjective, or at least unexplained. The plaque was at the bulkhead that had been sealed cutting off the rest of the ship from the bridge. Another ship, USS Phoenix also has a plaque in an anteroom off the bridge, so i'm not sure this is reason to state it was a temporary fact, especially since it is speculation that a ship could have such a thing. -- Captain M.K.B. 23:15, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Much better than my wording. The mention of the plaque being temporary was based on:
  1. The plaque does not say "U.S.S." (in Cyrillic or Roman letters), while the other examples we have for Starfleet ships do.
  2. The plaque misspells the name of the ship. (We know the real world reason, but not the Trek-reality reason)
  3. While such a mistake can happen (the culinary school I teach at misspelled the name of a famous chef when we named our buildings with dedication plaques) they are usually fixed A.S.A.P. (as we did within a month)
so it occurred to me that if the ship was temporarily de-commissioned, they would change the plaque as well (removing the one that does say "U.S.S." and putting up one that does not. And it is quite possible that this non-military assignment was too short to have the mistake noticed and/or fixed. —MJBurragetalk • 02:19, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

"the Baikonur Cosmodrome, USSR" Edit

surely this article can't be that old-- 22:20, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Its not. The plaque on the spacecraft from the episode says USSR, therefore USSR is canon. Originally this was probably done because the episode was made in the late 1980s, when there was a Soviet Union, but that does not matter. It was made the way it was, and that is all that matters. --OuroborosCobra 22:31, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

ah, small picture, i figured it wasn't readable, my mistake---- 22:32, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Name reduxEdit

While a couple of the Cyrillic characters are rendered slightly incorrect, the ship's plaque - which reads К. З. ЦИОЛКОВСКИЙ - points toward the proper name being 'K.E. Tsiolkovskiy' (and note '--skiy', rather than '--sky'). I think maybe the name of the page should reflect this.Catiline63 (talk) 23:37, January 3, 2013 (UTC)

Commission Date: 2363 Edit

I think it's an assumption to say that SD 40291.7 occurred in 2363. In that same year, there was SD 40217.3, seen on a display graphic, that we know from dialog was from the year 2355. So, for me, it doesn't feel right to say that the Tsiolkovskiy was commissioned in 2363, unless we have it stated somewhere that yes the ship was commissioned in that year. What we know for certain was that the Tsiolkovskiy had spent eight months in accumulating data about that star.Throwback (talk) 04:29, January 10, 2013 (UTC)


My impression has been that the official name of the ship is the anglicanized "SS Tsiolkovsky" based on the fact that this is the name used in dialogue and the script [1] and the name on the dedication plaque is not the name of the ship but that of К. Э. ЦИОЛКОВСКИЙ for whom the ship was named. Similar to the situation with USS Raven that has the dedication plaque reading "The Raven" for the Edgar Allan Poe poem for which the ship was named. This too doesn't mean the ships real name is USS The Raven. --Pseudohuman (talk) 14:03, April 20, 2013 (UTC)

I agree and support the rename request. Tom (talk) 10:15, April 24, 2013 (UTC)
Keep as is. First, the "dedication plaque" of the Raven is hardly a dedication plaque at all, but is just a rectangle with "The Raven" written on it and the outline of a raven beneath. Although plaques vary somewhat from ship to ship, none of the details we would expect on a proper dedication plaque are there at all - no launch date, yard details, class details, registry, motto, developers names. As it's so atypical, I hardly think that it's a valid comparitor. Second, in cases where ships bear the full name of a person, it's common naval practice to refer to the ship by just it's 'surname'. I think that Starfleet would adhere to this practice (although exceptions might be made: the USS Thomas Paine is unlikely to be abbreviated to USS Paine, as that would sound too violent). Catiline63 (talk) 20:13, April 25, 2013 (UTC)

"SS Tsiolkovsky" as a name was still more prominent as it is from the dialogue as it was written in the script and also referenced in official reference sources like the Star Trek Encyclopedia and If we were to use the name from the plaque it should then just be that the ship is called "K.E. Tsiolkovskiy" not the "SS K.E. Tsiolkovskiy" since that combination is at least completely made up and not used anywhere. --Pseudohuman (talk) 01:25, June 28, 2013 (UTC)

Also, I don't think "Tsiolkovskiy" is a definitive romanization, looking at how many different ways of romanizing cyrillic there are in use around the world - Romanization of Russian. Seems a bit like original research not to use the one used by the producers of the show. --Pseudohuman (talk) 04:27, June 28, 2013 (UTC)

Renaming part IIEdit

So essentially this ship has been given two different names К. Э. Циолковский (dedication plaque) and SS Tsiolkovsky (script and dialogue). There are at least ten different ways of transliterating cyrillic and using any of them in MA in-universe would be original research so the current title "SS K.E. Tsiolkovskiy" is speculative and should not be used. I think moving to К. Э. Циолковский would be the best option, since cyrillic is used in-universe along with English, and the plaque seems to be the official name of the ship. --Pseudohuman (talk) 21:20, July 10, 2013 (UTC)

I'm not sure how you went from "kyrillic version isn't even the name of the ship" to "kyrillic version should become the article title" in a matter of a few weeks, but I definitely oppose that suggested name change. It has the problem of not being searchable by the majority of people (so we'd need at least a redirect, anyway), and apparently, we still aren't sure if that kyrillic string was even meant to be the ships name? Considering all that, the best option seems to be to go with script spelling for the article title, just as we do in many other cases. --Cid Highwind (talk) 21:56, July 10, 2013 (UTC)

SS Tsiolkovsky is a redirect, so that would be how users find the page. Just started to seem like the cyrillic is the official name. Qo'noS too is a weird spelling that is hard to remember but in that case Kronos redirect helps to find the page. --Pseudohuman (talk) 16:05, July 11, 2013 (UTC)

It's not just about being "hard to remember" - it's about simply not being able at all to enter the characters that make up that name (unless you happen to be russian, enter hex values directly or copy&paste which most likely defeats the purpose of searching in the first place). Also, while redirects help with that, yes, we should still choose the "correct" name and, if we can't be sure about that, the "most likely/common" one. In this case, I'm not convinced that the kyrillic variant is the correct one - and among the different transliterations, the script spelling sticks out as "more common". -- Cid Highwind (talk) 17:32, July 11, 2013 (UTC)
A compromise is in order. The plaque calls the ship К. Э. Циолковский, which anglicises from the Cyrillic alphabet to the Roman alphabet as K.E. Tsiolkovsky (named after Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky, the Russian pioneer of rocketry). The script calls the ship SS Tsiolkovsky. Surely then - SS K.E. Tsiolkovsky. Catiline63 (talk) 10:14, July 20, 2013 (UTC)
Arguments that have been brought up before are a) there are various possible transliterations and b) we don't know whether the name on the plaque is even meant to be the ships instead of the persons name. With those unresolved, I fail to see how this new suggestion is really a compromise. --Cid Highwind (talk) 10:34, July 20, 2013 (UTC)
For what it's worth, whatever happens to this article title also needs to be put to use elsewhere - for example in other article titles like
or in the text of other articles (using a paragraph of stellar core fragment as an example):
  • In 2364, the SS Tsiolkovsky was observing the collapse of a red giant into a white dwarf when the gravitational influence of the star caused an outbreak of polywater intoxication that claimed the crew. The USS Enterprise-D, responding to the Tsiolkovsky's situation, was threatened by a stellar core fragment thrown off by the collapsing star. The Enterprise managed to buy enough time to repair its engines and escape by pushing off from the Tsiolkovsky using a repulsor beam. The Tsiolkovsky struck the fragment and was destroyed. (TNG: "The Naked Now")
I believe it's very impractible to use kyrillic text in all those instances, so that (for me) rules out that suggestion. The remaining suggestions are all possible combinations of "with/without K.E. prefix" and possible transliteration variants. Seeing that, still, "SS Tsiolkovsky" is the only one of those that has been used by the production, and further seeing how the earlier rename to "SS K.E. Tsiolkovskiy" has only messed up the article badly beacuse it hasn't been followed through completely, reverting the title to "SS Tsiolkovsky" is still my favourite. -- Cid Highwind (talk) 11:18, July 20, 2013 (UTC)
Prior objections: "A) there are various possible transliterations". True. But the production staff chose the "Tsiolkovsky" transliteration possibility, as evidenced by its use in the script. "B) we don't know whether the name on the plaque is even meant to be the ships instead of the persons name". If so, the only instance in ST history where a ship's dedication plaque hasn't actually detailed the ship's name....
Either way, the question remains, if the current page-name "SS K.E. Tsiolkovskiy" is wrong, how do we go toward making it less wrong.Catiline63 (talk) 15:57, July 20, 2013 (UTC)

Based on the dedication plaque the SS that was used only twice in the episode may have been just short for saying "starship" since it was not included on the plaque. Based on USS Prokofiev, USS Yuri Gagarin and USS Tolstoy, Starfleet does seem to officially use Russian names romanized for starships, so that would support renaming to K. E. Tsiolkovsky since that seems to be the "classic" romanization used of this older name, even though currently new names are romanized differently. --Pseudohuman (talk) 16:37, July 20, 2013 (UTC)

Now the "SS" bit is up for debate again, too? This gets stranger by the minute. Reviving your own argument of the USS Raven, we use a known prefix there as well, although it isn't present on that maybe-maybe-not dedication plaque. Regarding this potential dedication plaque, it's also the only one that is awkwardly placed next to some monitor in a corridor instead of on the bridge. What does that tell us, if anything? ;) -- Cid Highwind (talk) 16:51, July 20, 2013 (UTC)

Sometimes there are instances where these short prefixes are thrown in even though they aren't part of the official name. --Pseudohuman (talk) 17:04, July 20, 2013 (UTC)

Well, that image actually works against your reasoning, not towards it. If there is an instance where a visual is ignored because dialogue differs, why should it be the opposite here? Shouldn't we ignore the visual (dedication plaque) in favor of dialogue here as well? -- Cid Highwind (talk) 17:14, July 20, 2013 (UTC)

I suppose the only way we can end this debate is to go the same route as Memory Beta and use SS Tsiolkovsky and start the article with "SS Tsiolkovsky (NCC-53911) (Cyrillic: К. Э. Циолковский)" and leave the matter just as ambiguous as the episode did, with the two conflicting names. --Pseudohuman (talk) 11:54, July 26, 2013 (UTC)

Having finally gotten through this entire morass, I think that suggestion makes the most sense overall. The current name would be a redirect to that page, as would the Cyrillic version (which I cannot type, and would never try to type!). The episode was just unclear enough, so we go with the name most commonly "seen". -- sulfur (talk) 12:16, July 26, 2013 (UTC)
The thing is "SS Tsiolkovsky... Cyrillic: К. Э. Циолковский" makes it look like we think the prefix 'SS' is a transliteration for the initials 'К. Э.'. Instead, I'd go for "SS K.E. Tsiolkovsky (NCC-53911) (Cyrillic: К. Э. Циолковский)". It might not be perfect, but it's less wrong than the alternative. Catiline63 (talk) 14:18, July 28, 2013 (UTC)

The thing is that it is explained in the bg-section. All we know is the ship was given two names in the episode: "SS Tsiolkovsky" and "К. Э. Циолковский" everything else is speculation and rationalization. Is the SS part of the official name - we dont know, is the K.E. part of the official name - we dont know. Is this explained in the article - yes. --Pseudohuman (talk) 15:08, July 28, 2013 (UTC)

How do we not know that "K.E." isn't part of the ship's name? It's on the plaque - along with lots of other info that we accept as being valid. Why reject the initials just because the Enterprise crew happens to call the ship by the short-cut "SS Tsiolcovsky" instead of "SS K.E. Tsiolcovsky"? Catiline63 (talk) 22:57, July 28, 2013 (UTC)

Because that is a possibility and not a certain fact. And we don't speculate. --Pseudohuman (talk) 23:50, July 28, 2013 (UTC)

I am not wading into the water on this one, rather or not the name is or is not K.E. Tsiolkovskiy. However, I will say that changing this name to the Cyrillic is a bad idea. This isn't a Russian language site, and the people who will be looking for this ship will know its English name and type that name into the search engine. That engine is not "smart" enough to associate the two names as belonging to the same article. My experience with the engine is that you have to be literal, or it will fail.Throwback (talk) 06:21, July 29, 2013 (UTC)
K.E. "not a certain fact"? Apart from the fact that it's on the plaque... ;) So why is the fact that the ship was launched at Baikonur accepted whereas the fact that there's a K.E. in the name is not? Catiline63 (talk) 21:38, July 29, 2013 (UTC)
Because Star Trek fans are not immune to that must frustrating of Human afflictions - accepting one set of facts and not accepting another set of facts to advance their argument.Throwback (talk) 21:54, July 29, 2013 (UTC)

Okay lets try this again. It is a certain fact that the ship is called "SS Tsiolkovsky". It is a certain fact that the ship is also known as "К. Э. Циолковский". It is NOT a certain fact that SS K. E. Tsiolkovsky is a name used of the ship by anyone in-universe. It is a possibility. Are there other possible interpretations - YES. Should we only use the certain facts - YES. I understand that inside your head this possibility is the only possible interpretation of the facts and that is why you are arguing for it, but you must understand that there are several other possibilities that are equally possible. And when something is uncertain we go only with what is stated and seen on screen. --Pseudohuman (talk) 01:34, July 30, 2013 (UTC)

Well, if it's a "certain fact" that the ship is referred to as "SS Tsiolcovsky" and it's also a "certain fact" that it's also referred to as the "K.E. Tsiolcovsky", then it's there's no OR problem in calling the ship "SS K.E Tsiocovsky". In the same way, if a character is on one occasion called (for example) "Captain Isao Telaka", but on another occasion is called "L.I. Telaka", it would not be OR to call him Captain L. Isao Telaka. Which we do. Catiline63 (talk) 23:42, July 30, 2013 (UTC)

I don't know if you are capable of understanding this, but I'll try to spell it out again. Based on dialogue K.E. is not part of the official name. Based on the plaque SS is not part of the official name. Assuming dialogue and plaque were both wrong and in fact both are part of the official name is more speculative than saying: All we know is that the ship was known by two names: "SS Tsiolkovsky" and "K. E. Tsiolkovsky". Thats all we know. Let the reader decide what ever they want to make of it. --Pseudohuman (talk) 02:27, July 31, 2013 (UTC)

Please remain civil; I'm more than capable of understanding your argument, I just don't agree with it. It is not "speculative" or OR to take two non-contradictory pieces of data on a subject, which you yourself accept as "certain facts", and merge them. It is done everywhere on this wiki. In fact it's expected. And my example of Capt. Telaka stands. Catiline63 (talk) 12:13, July 31, 2013 (UTC)

My counter-example would be planets like Earth that is also known as Terra and Sol III or Vulcan that is also known as Vulcanis. That is the only way facts can be merged here without speculation. --Pseudohuman (talk) 15:30, July 31, 2013 (UTC)

I think a better example for what Pseudohuman has in mind would be this: "Jean-Luc Picard" once use the name "Richard Galen" - but that doesn't mean we claim he was "known as Jean-Luc Galen" or "Richard Picard".
I personally would draw the line a little different from that: we can't know for sure what exactly that dedication plaque means. I think we once saw how the captain of a ship has a say in choosing the ships motto - can we really be sure that this doesn't extend to the whole design of the dedication plaque? Perhaps the person responsible for that dedication plaque just saw it fitting to display the full name of the person after which the ship was named, in his "original" script? Perhaps that even is generally done so - we didn't see the dedication plaques of the USS Sarek, USS Gorkon etc., after all. -- Cid Highwind (talk) 15:51, July 31, 2013 (UTC)
I'm just going to throw this out there: We could just move this to Tsiolkovsky and remove SS and K.E. from the article name. This way, no one is happy, which is the very definition of a compromise on the internet. - Archduk3 17:03, July 31, 2013 (UTC)
Pseudohuman, you keep saying "speculation" but have yet to demonstrate that any of this is speculative. You admit that the SS prefix of the name is "a certain fact". You admit that the K.E. initialism in the name is "a certain fact". Where exactly is the speculation? Let's consider a parallel. If an episode refers to one character as "Cmdr. Robinson" (i.e. prefix/surname) and later they are called "A.G. Robinson" (i.e. initials/surname), we don't consider it speculation to call the character "Cmdr. A.G. Robinson" (prefix/initials/surname). So also with SS K.E. Tsiolkovsky. Catiline63 (talk) 18:12, July 31, 2013 (UTC)
As an aside, the dedication plaque of the K.E. Tsiolkovsky is the only one we've seen for an 'SS' (as opposed to a 'USS'). For all we know, all the plaques on such ships follow this example - in that they don't include the prefixes. Now, that *is* speculation... ;) Catiline63 (talk) 18:23, July 31, 2013 (UTC)

SS Xhosa dedication plaque had the SS. Your speculation is specifically only that you have decided to support only one possibility, combining the two names and to disregard all the other possibilities that are just as likely for the different cyrillic name on the plaque when we don't know for certain why it was there. 1. Is it an unofficial nick name for the ship? 2. Is it just an alternative name for the ship? 3. Was the ship originally named "K. E. Tsiolkovsky" when the russians built it, but then listed and renamed as "SS Tsiolkovsky" when it was registered for Starfleet service, but the plaque still has the original name in it? 4. Is it just a nod to the historic person after whom the ship was named, similar to "The Raven" plaque a nod to the poem? 5. Does Starfeet have a custom of saying SS in front of ship names sometimes, if the ship is named after a person, even though the SS isn't part of the name of the ship? And simultaneously a custom of leaving out the initials if they are part of the name? These are all possibilities. The wonderful thing is that we don't have to speculate which one of these is the real thing. Which is most likely explanation. We can just say, fuck it. It was called this and it was also called that. End of story. --Pseudohuman (talk) 19:18, July 31, 2013 (UTC)

Have we settled this? --Pseudohuman (talk) 17:48, October 5, 2013 (UTC)

Everything on the page already had been changed to the name that was suggested, so I went forward and renamed the article accordingly. As far as I'm concerned, this is settled - but if anyone disagrees, it would be best to first discuss that here before creating another mess with three different names on the article. --Cid Highwind (talk) 00:39, October 6, 2013 (UTC)
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