The C.O.L.B.E.R.T patch.

COLBERT on the ISS

Article Updated: 24 Dec , 2015

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2nd UPDATE: Watch the video of astronaut Suni Williams on “The Colbert Report” below .

There will be a COLBERT on the International Space Station. Word has it that NASA, however, did not name Node 3 on the ISS after comedian Stephen Colbert, who won a NASA-sponsored naming contest for the next module that will be brought to the station. According to Robert Pearlman on CollectSPACE, NASA will announce on Comedy Central’s “Colbert Report” later tonight (Tuesday) that the module’s name will be “Tranquility” – in deference to Apollo 11’s landing site on the Moon (40th anniversary and all this year). But NASA did name a new treadmill after Colbert, kinda sorta. NASA created an acronym for the treadmill as the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill, or COLBERT. Of course, this isn’t actually official yet. Pearlman’s article was published two hours before the “Colbert Report” aired (even though NASA’s press release specificially stated the name would “not be publicly released until the program airs.” Hmmm… guess nothing is sacred.) We’ll post the video and official word when available. You can see an image of the current treadmill on the ISS below.

UPDATE: Yes, it is true. Node 3 is Tranquility and the treadmill is C.O.L.B.E.R.T. The “official” treadmill patch is above, and the video from “The Colbert Report” is below. Colbert took it well, and he’s excited about the treadmill. Excerpts from NASA’s press release are below, as well.

Astronaut Suni Williams on the ISS treadmill. Credit: NASA

Astronaut Suni Williams on the ISS treadmill. Credit: NASA


Here’s astronaut Suni Williams running on the current ISS treadmill. She ran a marathon in space on this treadmill.

Here’s info from NASA’s official press release on the new Node 3 name:

“The public did a fantastic job and surprised us with the quality and volume of the suggestions,” said Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Space Operations. “Apollo 11 landed on the moon at the Sea of Tranquility 40 years ago this July. We selected ‘Tranquility’ because it ties it to exploration and the moon and symbolizes the spirit of international cooperation embodied by the space station.”

“We don’t typically name U.S. space station hardware after living people and this is no exception,” Gerstenmaier joked. “However, NASA is naming its new space station treadmill the ‘Combined Operational
Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill,’ or COLBERT. We have invited Stephen to Florida for the launch of COLBERT and to Houston to try out a version of the treadmill that astronauts train on.”

The treadmill is targeted to launch to the station in August. It will be installed in Tranquility after the node arrives at the station next year, scheduled for February 2010.


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Emission Nebula
Guest
Emission Nebula
April 14, 2009 9:07 PM

Lame

Flogger11
Guest
Flogger11
April 14, 2009 10:05 PM

X2

Flogger11
Guest
Flogger11
April 14, 2009 10:06 PM

above X2. NASA you are the worst.

Huron
Guest
Huron
April 15, 2009 12:10 AM

Lame are the people that get upset over the result of a naming contest. The astronauts don’t care what the damn thing will be called, why should you?

Naming it Colbert would not have gotten NASA any more money nor would it have generated any long term interest in the ISS.

setnom
Member
setnom
April 15, 2009 12:39 AM

@ Huron:

“Naming it Colbert would not have gotten NASA any more money nor would it have generated any long term interest in the ISS.”

… But “Tranquility” does?

I disagree. The dozens of thousands of people that voted on Colbert are proof against it. I’m portuguese, and even I saw the media coverage on this (yes, it’s gone international).

It would be damn good publicity for NASA. Oh well… I guess democracy in space is still light-years away.

Silenus
Member
Silenus
April 15, 2009 1:05 AM

“The astronauts don’t care what the damn thing will be called, why should you?”

If nobody really cares, what’s the reason for NOT naming it this way then?

Rui Borges
Guest
April 15, 2009 1:15 AM

Setnom, I’m Portuguese also and I totally disagree with you. Is this a circus? What if, instead of Colbert, Kim Jong Il decided to get all the North Koreans voting on his name for the node? Or Nel Monteiro? wink NASA left the rules of the contest quite clear and I believe that they got out of this situation quite well.

Erack DeMock
Guest
April 15, 2009 1:49 AM

I CALL BS ON NASA… why have a contest if you don’t accept the winner? LIARS! CHEATS!

PolishBear
Member
April 15, 2009 9:06 AM
I love The Colbert Report and watch it pretty religiously. I also am a longtime supporter of NASA, so as much as I love Stephen Colbert’s show (I get more laughs from it than just about anything else on TV these days), I think he took this a bit too far. I would have been a lot happier if he had just decided to graciously let it drop. He and his writers could have scripted around it and made his concession funny. This whole thing just got a bit too silly for my taste. As for NASA, let’s hope they’ve learned their lesson about opening up opportunities for the public to name ANYTHING. They need to set some… Read more »
Carriep
Guest
April 15, 2009 4:59 AM

Glad that NASA reserved the right to choose the final winner and all, but them not choosing the win, place, or show of the voting contest really kind of gives the metaphorical finger to all who voted.

Ah well. Made for good TV.

souljay
Member
souljay
April 15, 2009 5:06 AM

Lets make a portuguese ISS / Universe Today Party! (Lisbon here)

Rob
Guest
Rob
April 15, 2009 5:43 AM

I think NASA handled this well. now everyone is (should be) happy. For those who still want to complain either way, loosen up.

Jorge
Guest
April 15, 2009 7:16 AM

LOL! Great lough!

Great for Colbert: he can now be stumped on, in space, which is the lifelong wish of any great comedian. And great for NASA, who came up with a great and humorous way to make the final punch line to this whole joke. Too bad there are so many people without a sense of humour our there. Sigh. Disparaging to notice that some of those are self-proclaimed Colbert fans. I think they can’t be real Colbert fans if they don’t get his jokes, but that’s just me.

And, yeah, go Portugal. Portimão here. smile

RE
Member
April 15, 2009 7:27 AM

i have officially lost all faith in those dolts at NASA

i thought stuffing ballot boxes was illegal.
which is what happened here when a tv host
insisted his zombie fans vote in droves
for something they didn’t care about.

really sad.

JimE
Guest
JimE
April 15, 2009 7:30 AM

i have officially lost all faith in those dolts at NASA

i thought stuffing ballot boxes was illegal.
which is what happened here when a tv host
insisted his zombie fans vote in droves
for something they didn’t care about.

really sad.

Jon Hanford
Member
Jon Hanford
April 15, 2009 7:34 AM

I am having trouble again trying to access posts to articles here at UT AGAIN! Could someone affiliated with this site either fix this or return to a single (sometimes long) page format with all responses on the same page. It’s frustrating not being able to read and reply to earlier responses to the articles.

Nancy Atkinson
Guest
April 15, 2009 8:00 AM

Jon-
We are looking into it.
Nancy

Rui Borges
Guest
April 15, 2009 8:48 AM

Oh the portuguese clan…if only we had met before…we would be celebrating now Zézé Camarinha’s arrival to LEO… wink

Fraser Cain
Admin
April 15, 2009 9:40 AM

I think it’s great how it turned out. Colbert got to abuse an open voting system, and got a treadmill named after him.

If I ever launch a spacecraft, I’m going to be calling it Colbert from day 1. Just to get that part over with.

SteveF
Guest
April 15, 2009 9:52 AM

@Fraser, I concur. Colbert got free press, NASA got free press! winwin!!! Any chance to get more NASA on tv floats my boat (I don’t get the NASA chan anymore)

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