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Alien and Aliens take place on LV-426, Prometheus on LV-223. What does "LV" stand for?

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@Justin C: LV-426 and LV-223 aren't planets. They are two of the three moons orbiting the gas giant Calpamos. –  gnovice Jun 24 '12 at 5:32
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It's surprising how often the "habitable moon of a gas giant" idea has been reused in sf. I don't see how it would work in reality, given the moon would inevitably be tidally locked to the primary and have a kiln-like climate from being rotisseried like our own Moon is. –  Kyle Jones Jun 24 '12 at 6:54
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@Kyle except that Saturn's moon Titan is seriously considered one of the most potentially life-supporting places in the solar system due to its Earth-like atmosphere. –  Michael Edenfield Jun 24 '12 at 17:06
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@KyleJones - tidal locking to the primary is not a problem. It's tidal locking to the star which would be the problem. But there are other problems, like a potentially extended solar eclipse, vis a vis Pitch Black. –  Chris B. Behrens Jun 25 '12 at 13:44
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There's no canon I can find, I always assumed it meant 'Life Viable' planets... But that's just my own assumption. –  RossC Dec 18 '13 at 11:08
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There are no canon sources explaining the planetary designations used in the Alien franchises. Indeed, there does not even seem to be a planetary designation system in place at all. LV-426 was barely used in the script of the original Alien with the planet's name being Acheron.

There was barely any connection to the two names and only in later materials were the two ever mentioned together. The later movies, books, games and now finally Prometheus mention only a few other planets with this designation system including LV-233 and LV-1201.

LV-426 was first introduced in the 1979 film Alien, though it is not named and is simply referred to as a "planetoid" or "ball". In the 1986 sequel Aliens, LV-426 is named. On the timeline of the official viral website for Weyland Industries, as part of the promotion for the film Prometheus, the planet's name appears on the timeline page, as officially "Acheron LV-426" bringing both names together. The planet was thought to appear in the film, but instead, the planet LV-223 was used. --Alien versus Predator Wiki > Archeron LV-426

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Yeah, this is where I ended up, too. I thought maybe it was a reference to the discoverer of Neptune, Urbain Le Verrier, but that's a pretty big stretch. But absent some alternate history in the Alienverse where Neptune's discovery was a lot more important, we'd already be using a Le Verrier catalog if we were going to be using it in a hundred years. –  Chris B. Behrens Jun 25 '12 at 19:45
    
You know, I thought about that, but I also figured we would already have one if we were going to be using it in the future. Perhaps in that Universe they showed the proper reverence for men of science/mathematics. –  Thaddeus Jun 25 '12 at 19:49
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Messier was smart - get your name on it early. –  Chris B. Behrens Jun 26 '12 at 4:07
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LV is you look at it from a Nasa Stand point means launch Vehicle which is simple a vehicle that makes a landing on the surface of a planet, delivering some payload

Could be simply that launch Vehicle 426 landed on that planet and on its payload was device to classify the planet, Thinking on this it could be said they when there able to map out, entire parts of the universe, each planet wont have a name like Earth Mars Venus etc, they would simply give it a number value for easy classification and data basing

Or

It could simple be Level 426 or level 223 LV223 - near Earth atmosphere, where DNA-identical beings reside LV426 - sub-zero, rocky, windy environment with inhospitable atmosphere

A level Based on the level of terraforming the planet has done naturally or by force on what number vaulue i cant find, but closer to 0 would be Perfect earth maybe? and farther away from earths score of 0 is inhospitable?

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Both of those could lead to two different moons having the same desicnation. For that reason, I don't see it as being a practical way to delineate between them. E.G. "Set a course for LV-999." "LV-999 at Sirius or Polaris?" –  Andrew Thompson Nov 9 '12 at 2:32
    
@AndrewThompson Actually it's really expensive to launch something out of a gravity well, so the "Launch Vehicle" theory would still mostly work - once the LV lands, it stays there permanently like the Mars rovers. –  Tacroy May 20 '13 at 16:51
    
@Tacroy In that case it would be called a 'Descent Vehicle' rather than a 'Launch Vehicle'. No, clutching at straws. –  Andrew Thompson May 20 '13 at 23:56
    
@AndrewThompson I was thinking "Landing Vehicle" myself, since "Launch Vehicle" is just something Jason Rob came up with :) –  Tacroy May 21 '13 at 2:19
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1.) The L5 Society, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L5_Society, and then the change of the "5" to a Roman Numeral "V". The problem with this is that the L5 point is not on the surface of a moon, but a point in space.

2.) Yes "lunar" with the "V" used as symbol for an indentation (the beginning the terra-forming process) in the way that CVN for a US Navy nuclear aircraft carrier is "Carrier of Aircraft Nuclear" where the word aircraft is represented by the "V" symbol, which stands for a winged shape.

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LV-223 could be read as Leviticus 2:23. Go read it, it talks about the eradication of unclean people in the face of God. The planet's name nagged me too. And then I saw this on youtube, just search for : "Prometheus mindblowing analysis". The guy just said out loud what I thought about some movie parts. It's fun to know what others people might think. Anyway, in the movie, Shaw is the only one to survive, and curiously, she's the only one who's faith in God didn't fail. And David is like Satan, who rebelled against it's parent and has found the forbidden knowledge the engineers seemed to know. "Does't everyone wants their parents dead?" he asks Shaw.

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While this would explain the name out-of-universe, this answer fails to address what the LV stands for/is a reference to in-universe. –  phantom42 May 20 '13 at 15:57
    
It should actually be Leviticus 22:3. –  John Gilliland Dec 20 '13 at 23:59
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