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Colbert Wins ISS Naming Contest

ISS Node 3:  Will it be Colbert?

ISS Node 3: Will it be Colbert?

NASA obviously underestimated the awesome power of the Colbert. In an online contest to name a new module for the International Space Station, NASA suggested a few names, but then provided the possibility for write-in suggestions. Comedian Stephen Colbert won in a landslide, beating out NASA’s obvious top suggestion, Serenity by over 40,000 votes. But NASA has not said if they will heed the public’s wishes. Nearly 1.2 million votes were cast when the voting ended last Friday. Colbert has been in the lead for some time, and a few weeks ago NASA’s Associate Administrator for Space Operations Bill Gerstenmaier joined Colbert on his Comedy Central show to address the possibility of actually naming the module. “Will you now commit to naming that module Colbert if I win your online vote?” Colbert asked Gerstenmaier.

“Well, we’re going to have to go think about that as we get all the votes and we see where we are,” Gerstenmaier responded. See the video below:

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Space Module: Colbert – William Gerstenmaier
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Mark Sanford

NASA said it reserves the right to choose an appropriate name. Agency spokesman John Yembrick said NASA will decide in April, but will give top vote-getters “the most consideration.”

Colbert urged viewers of his Comedy Central show, “The Colbert Report” to write in his name. Colbert received 230,539 votes.

He said “Serenity” is not a name for a space station module, but for an air freshener.

Serenity took 70% of votes for NASA’s suggested names, with Legacy, Earthrise and Venture getting just a small percentage of the votes. NASA has said contests like this one are a way to get the public involved with space exploration.

Anyone want to place bets on what the module’s name will actually be?

For more information about the Node 3 module, read our original post about the naming contest.



Nancy Atkinson is currently Universe Today's Contributing Editor. Previously she served as UT's Senior Editor and lead writer, and has worked with Astronomy Cast and 365 Days of Astronomy. Nancy is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Emission Nebula March 25, 2009, 10:57 PM

    It’s just a module. Save Carl Sagans name for something big, like a new exploring rover on another world.

  • Nic March 26, 2009, 2:31 PM

    Big whoop, Colbert won. It’s not like they’re naming the entire space station, or the LEM. It’s just one out of a dozen modules in a space station. Why wouldn’t you chose Colbert? If the people want it and it brings publicity- great!

  • Derek W March 27, 2009, 2:08 PM

    Seriously, NASA should just be happy that many people even gave a damn, considering how boring and uninspiring they make science and space in general appear.

    Not naming the module Colbert would be a step in the WRONG direction for NASA, yet again.

  • Mike March 28, 2009, 10:07 AM

    Colbert and Stewart are self-proclaimed FAKE NEWS. Colbert is clearly FAKE CONTEST WINNER.

  • SeaFire March 28, 2009, 8:22 PM

    NASA suggested Serenity, and people want it.

    Serenity will be the name choosen. Why? Well because I said so and because other names are a joke.

  • Jesse March 31, 2009, 5:44 AM

    Colbert should have a room named for him on the ISS – the toilet.

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