NASA to Announce New ISS Module Name on Colbert Report

by Nancy Atkinson on April 10, 2009

Will the new ISS module look like this?

Will the new ISS module look like this?

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
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.


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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