Apr 14, 2009 12:58 PM | 2
The long-simmering standoff between Stephen Colbert and NASA comes to an end tonight, when the space agency unveils its name for a new International Space Station (ISS) module on the Colbert Report.
To recap: NASA is expanding the ISS later this year with the addition of its Node 3, a module that will house life-support systems and a robotic-arm command station with a panoramic observatory. But Node 3 isn't the snappiest moniker, so the space agency set up an online poll where people could vote for their fave name from a list or write in a candidate of their own.
Colbert, who has already sent his digitized DNA to the space station and revels in calling on Colbert Nation to engage in online gate-crashing, unabashedly directed his viewers to stuff the virtual ballot box with votes for "Colbert." The effort worked—"Colbert" beat the top NASA-suggested vote getter, "Serenity," by more than 40,000 votes. But with the polls closed, NASA demurred on its intentions regarding the nonbinding results, even reportedly floating the idea of naming an ISS toilet for Colbert instead.
Apparently enjoying the PR boost, NASA is sending astronaut Sunita Williams, an ISS veteran, onto the Colbert Report to announce the new name. "I certainly hope NASA does the right thing," Colbert said in a statement. "Just kidding, I hope they name it after me."
Photo credit: David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons
International Space Station
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