Ok went in and found that it might be a reference to "Vanguard" the generational ship referenced in the book 'Orphans of the sky' the author name is Robert A. Heinlein. Might be right but might not.
Ooh! Heinlein is a likely culprit! And given the plot [with a hasty search], even moreso. Well found! I would wager a bottle of Snakebite that you've got it!