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Will the new ISS module look like this?

NASA to Announce New ISS Module Name on Colbert Report

10 Apr , 2009

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NASA announced via Twitter that the space agency will announce the name of the new International Space Staton module next week on the Comedy Central show, “The Colbert Report.” As you may recall, the show’s host Stephen Colbert encouraged his viewers to write-in his name in NASA’s “Name the Node” contest, and he won in a landslide over NASA’s top suggestion, Serenity (“that’s the name of an adult diaper,” said Colbert), by over 40,000 votes. NASA astronaut Suni Williams will appear on the show on Tuesday, April 14 at 11:30 pm EDT. This certainly bodes well for the Colbert Nation, but will NASA really come through on this one and do something fun and engaging, or do what the middle-aged space agency usually does. Will it be “Democracy in Orbit?”

Watch a video of Colbert below telling NASA, “the ball is in your court.”

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Space Module: Colbert – Democracy in Orbit
colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor NASA Name Contest

Update — NASA just released a press release on this, and here’s more:

“The node naming poll was organic and took on a life of its own,” said Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Space Operations at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “We received more than a million
entries, in large part because social media Web sites and television programs, such as ‘The Colbert Report,’ took an interest. This spread overall awareness of the International Space Station.”

NASA originally planned to announce the node’s name on April 28 after it arrived at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. However, the node’s arrival at Kennedy is delayed until May, so the announcement moved to April 14.

The show’s producers offered to host the name selection announcement after comedian and host Stephen Colbert took interest during the census and urged his followers to post the name “Colbert.”

“I certainly hope NASA does the right thing,” said Colbert. “Just kidding, I hope they name it after me.”

Node 3 is a pressurized module that will provide room for many of the space station’s life support systems. Attached to the node is the cupola, a one-of-a-kind work station with six windows around the sides and one on top. Node 3 is targeted for launch in late 2009.

For more information about the station and Node 3.


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
cipater
Member
April 10, 2009 1:21 PM

Agree with the spirit of the “adult diaper” comment. All of NASAs suggestions were schmaltzy and boring. Really awful. Kind of like all of the names they come up with (Spirit and Opportunity? ughh)

“Colbert” would be a breath of fresh air. Time to dump the sentimentality and get a sense of humor.

Chris
Guest
Chris
April 10, 2009 1:24 PM

Very smart, they are actually trying to take advantage of the publicity!

Chris
Guest
Chris
April 10, 2009 1:27 PM

Well, Serenity is great for Firefly fans, but most people probably didn’t get that. Anyway, save Serenity for an actual spaceship that goes somewhere.

Maxwell
Member
Maxwell
April 10, 2009 3:08 PM

I agreed with the proposal to name the space station toilet after him :p
Capitalizing on the public’s interest and making the situation humorous without doing anything drastic or questionable.

Andrew
Member
Andrew
April 10, 2009 3:22 PM

There is a big lesson to be learned from Mr. Colbert: NASA sucks at public relations. The mere fact that Colbert was able to get people out in droves to vote for the naming (droves much larger than through NASA’s efforts) shows that NASA could be doing a MUCH more successful job with promotion than they are; the public interest is clearly there. Comic or otherwise. Perhaps having the name released on the show means that some people in NASA have learned.

Maxwell
Member
Maxwell
April 10, 2009 3:59 PM

They’ve always sucked at PR, to their detriment.

The name being released on the show is more probably due to the efforts of Colbert’s staff trying to keep the joke going than anyone in NASA admin turning over a new leaf.

These guys were flying missions to the freaking MOON and they couldn’t hold public interest.
I’m willing to bet that a name contest will not be the turning point… altho I hope I’m wrong.

Huron
Guest
Huron
April 10, 2009 4:00 PM

I hope it is called Serenity. Naming it after Colbert is the perfect example of everything wrong with society, especially with the internet 2.0 addicted parts.

Noadi
Member
April 10, 2009 4:03 PM
I don’t think you’re giving NASA enough credit on public relations. For most of the 90s and into the first few years of this century they were terrible at it. Recently though they’ve really embraced the internet and have made huge improvements in the last couple years. Numerous NASA missions are now on Twitter, Phoenix was the first but now the Mars rovers, shuttles, Kepler, etc. are all using Twitter. They’ve got a pretty nice YouTube channel along with livestreaming the NASA TV channel on the website. The voting idea was good and even before Colbert got involved the vote was in the tens of thousands (okay a lot of it was the Firefly fans). The idea to… Read more »
Andrew
Member
Andrew
April 10, 2009 4:17 PM

I don’t like the precedent set by naming a toilet after someone who is doing his part to support NASA. It seems to be a tad counter-productive.

Aqua
Guest
Aqua
April 10, 2009 4:22 PM

The ‘g-friend’ says that she thinks its ‘funny’ that Stephan Colbert usurped NASA’s PR dept. by creating this media blitz. (Me too!)

I also think it would be GREAT for Stephan Colbert to interview President Obama UP ON THE ISS!

Silver Thread
Member
Silver Thread
April 10, 2009 5:08 PM

And if Howard Stern decides he’d like to have the naming rights to the next module? Or maybe someone even less notable, Kobe Bryant or Britney Spears for example, then what?

I disagree ENTIRELY with the notion that a unit purchased with Tax Money should be named in honor of something as utterly worthless as a Celebrity.

If he wants a module or space craft named after him, he is free to fund one, otherwise inns o be something in the International Spirit.

Layman
Guest
Layman
April 10, 2009 5:34 PM

Maybe next time the readers of Universe Today will get to pick the name- I bet that we could do a better job there are so many deserving candidates!
Fill in the blank and forward to NASA_______________.

Kevin
Guest
Kevin
April 10, 2009 8:06 PM

There are challenging undertones to Colbert’s humor which NASA would do well to stay away from. His joke on this is that the voting represents American democracy in action which shows that its media spin and airtime that gains the power in politics.

Grinspoon
Guest
Grinspoon
April 10, 2009 10:11 PM

In response to “Silver Thread” all they do next time is put in a clause it can’t be named after a celebrity or something.

Although node Bababooey would be cool.

alan
Guest
alan
April 10, 2009 10:56 PM

Colbert is a crazy fool. I guess he won, but I would have prefered Serenity. I didn’t hear about the naming contest until I seen it on his show.

I agree with Kevin, next time I’m sure the rules will be changed.

confused
Guest
confused
April 10, 2009 11:15 PM

in response to those who say the module is funded by tax payers money and should not be named after a celebrity…….i am pretty sure it was the tax payers who voted on the name so why should it not count????

bigstevie
Member
bigstevie
April 11, 2009 12:15 AM
Colbert seized an opportunity and won the contest without breaking any of the rules. If there are sour grapes about “a celebrity” winning, blame the people who made the rules for the contest – not Colbert, his fans, or NASA at large. I, for one, would see it as a slap in the face to a comedian who brought a lot of publicity to the program to name the toilet after him. Maybe Colbert wouldn’t see it that way, himself, but I think the least they could do is to name the cupola “The Colbert Bump” in honor of all those who legitimately voted for him. Though, truely, I think they should honor the wishes of the contest… Read more »
Spoodle58
Member
April 11, 2009 2:59 AM

Who is Colbert? I’ve never heard of him.

But names for stuff in space should be fun, like the ship names Iain M. Banks uses in his Culture Universe books.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ships_(The_Culture)

Andrew
Member
Andrew
April 11, 2009 4:48 AM
A major element of Colbert’s humor has always been about making fun of political spin. He occasionally uses spin to see what kind of silly things he can get people to do. Remember his Presidential bid? I think that he does it to try to raise awareness of how much politicians use spin to control people. This is a GOOD thing. It makes people think. NASA will name the module whatever they please. I’m pretty sure that from the beginning the poll was nothing more than a “suggestion” by popular vote in technical terms. But if NASA wants to maintain control over it’s future, this use of spinning HAS to be something they gain control over. Otherwise, people… Read more »
Tyler Durden
Guest
Tyler Durden
April 11, 2009 5:26 AM

“There are challenging undertones to Colbert’s humor which NASA would do well to stay away from. His joke on this is that the voting represents American democracy in action which shows that its media spin and airtime that gains the power in politics.”

If only it were just a joke… unfortunately spin and airtime are the primary sources of public opinion – there’s no such thing as an informed public anymore. The sheep pretty much herd in whatever direction they’re pointed toward.

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