Colbert Wins ISS Naming Contest

by Nancy Atkinson on March 23, 2009

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

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