Oops: Colbert wins NASA space station name contest

March 23, 2009

(AP) -- NASA's online contest to name a new room at the international space station went awry. Comedian Stephen Colbert won.

The name "Colbert" beat out NASA's four suggested options in the agency's effort to have the public help name the addition. The new room will be launched later this year.

NASA's mistake was allowing write-ins. Colbert urged viewers of his Comedy Central show, "The Colbert Report" to write in his name. And they complied, with 230,539 votes. That clobbered Serenity, one of the choices, by more than 40,000 votes. Nearly 1.2 million votes were cast by the time the ended Friday.

NASA 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."

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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4 / 5 (6) Mar 23, 2009
Why not - most of out government is a joke! NASA needs the Colbert people for support. Take what you can when you can get it!

2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 24, 2009
Bah, humbug. Serenity was a far better name than Colbert. Now we have a stupid name for this model just because this guy has a giant ego. Nice job jackass.

Who cares what they name a room? Next will be the Gates wing, the Buffet loo, and of course the Helu deck :)
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 24, 2009
The Gaius Balter High Energy Physics Module.

The Heechee Rendezvous Docking Collar

The Lazarus Long Exobiology Module
4 / 5 (5) Mar 24, 2009
"Serenity" should be reserved for a flier, not a space station module.
3 / 5 (2) Mar 24, 2009
Too bad he failed to come up with something actually funny.
2 / 5 (4) Mar 24, 2009
they should have removed it from the vote if it wasn't a legit option.
4 / 5 (4) Mar 24, 2009
b00ch: they had a "write in" section on the vote. Colbert had his audience flood the write in section in order to skew the vote.

However, after reading Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy blog, it looks like NASA foresaw the possibility of someone cheating on the vote (using bots, etc), so they made sure to include a note saying something along the lines of, "while NASA will take the results of the vote into consideration, the vote will be non-binding".

So, depending on how amusing they find Colbert's little prank, they have the option of ignoring that choice if they want to.
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 24, 2009
Why give him free advertising? Now.... if he would like to BUY the name, lets talk. But I'm pretty sure he would be out bid.
5 / 5 (2) Mar 24, 2009
"Water Recovery System (WRS) and Urine Processor Assembly (UPA), which take waste water from the station and purify it, separating any contaminants and making it safe for the crew to drink

Waste and hygiene compartment, which provides a place for the crew to use the bathroom in a way that allows the station to process the majority of the water used onboard so that it may be used again, greatly lessening the need for resupply flights from Earth."

If he wants his name on it who's to argue
4.2 / 5 (5) Mar 24, 2009
If they name the room with the waste unit the Colbert room, it would be entirely appropriate.

In the tradition of Mr. Crapper, I move that all zero-G toilets be call Colberts. Will anyone second my motion?

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