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Looking at a great answer to a question about Dragons berthing orientation at the ISS which shows images of the 5 CRS Dragons berthed to the ISS one thing struck me. There looks to be no easy way to tell which mission was which.

They make a badge for each mission, (you can see it by the Webcast page when they broadcast it). But they do not paint it on the side of the Dragon. Nor any visible wording. CRS-1 CRS-2 CRS-3 CRS-4 CRS-5

The ESA's ATV has badges and names on the side of them. Soyuz/Progress have mission numbers, not sure if they have it painted on the side.

Is there a reason for that?

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  • $\begingroup$ Do you know if anybody does that for any mission? $\endgroup$ – Rikki-Tikki-Tavi Feb 22 '15 at 0:46
  • $\begingroup$ Best comparison would be ATV. They name them. Is the name written on the ATV? I dunno. Soyuz/Progress missions are numbered. do they write it on the vehicle? dunno. I guess I was thinking space shuttles had names on them. (Cyngus had names, written on them? dunno). $\endgroup$ – geoffc Feb 22 '15 at 5:11
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    $\begingroup$ ATVs are labeled: you can see the logo on the Ariane 5 fairing and on the back of one of the solar panels. $\endgroup$ – Hobbes Feb 22 '15 at 12:35
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The dragon capsule has limited painting on it because it has to stay in space for long periods of time and the addition of logos would affect the thermal performance of the exterior at that spot, possibly leading to a hot spot on that location. The sides of the launch vehicle however, don't get exposed long enough during the time they are active to really care as much about the solar heating difference, so big logos can easily be added to these stages.

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