Fake But Funny NASA Press Release

by Nancy Atkinson on September 2, 2009

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It’s nice to see the folks at NASA have a sense of humor and can poke fun at themselves. The following (fake) press release was part of the Flight Day 6 Execute Package sent up to the STS-128 crew on board space shuttle Discovery, now docked at the International Space Station: “Colbert Elated, Stewart Miffed.” Also impressive is how NASA employees can seemingly come up with an acronym for almost any occasion:

Fake Colbert/Stewart press release on Flight Day-6 execute package.

Fake Colbert/Stewart press release on Flight Day-6 execute package.

Comedic news commentator Jon Stewart is apparently miffed about ISS exercise hardware being named after fellow Comedy Central commentator Steven Colbert. Colbert lobbied to get the Node 3 element of the International Space Station named COLBERT in NASA’s online naming contest for the Node. Although Colbert convinced his viewers to vote for “Colbert” as the new name, helping it win by a large margin, NASA elected to name the hardware “Tranquility”. As a concession, NASA decided to name the new exercise treadmill COLBERT, which is an acronym for Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill.

While the decision pleased Colbert, an irate Jon Stewart vehemently complained to the space agency that he deserved the same treatment. In response, NASA offered to name the ISS Urine Processor after Stewart, Space Toilet Environmental Waste Accumulator/Recycling Thingy. Upon hearing this, Stewart declined the offer.

Source: STS-128 Execute Packages

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Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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