NASA names treadmill after Colbert

Apr 15, 2009 By JAKE COYLE , AP Entertainment Writer

(AP) -- One small step for NASA, one giant running leap for Stephen Colbert.

NASA announced Tuesday that it won't name a room in the international space station after the comedian. Instead, it has named a after him.

earlier held an online contest to name a room (or "node") at the . With write-in votes, the name "Colbert" beat out NASA's four suggested options: Serenity, Legacy, Earthrise and Venture.

On Tuesday's "The Colbert Report" on Comedy Central, astronaut Sunita Williams announced that NASA - which always maintained it had the right to choose an appropriate name - would not name the node after Colbert.

Instead, Node 3 will henceforth be called Tranquility, the eighth most popular response submitted by respondents in the poll. The node's name alludes to where Apollo 11 landed on the moon - the Sea of Tranquility.

NASA and Colbert compromised by naming a treadmill used for exercising in space after Colbert. NASA, itself an acronym (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), often names things so they spell out something fun. And that's what they did with the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT).

Sophisticated treadmills are crucial for living in space for long periods of time, as do on the space station; they help keep astronauts fit and their bones from losing strength. Williams ran a marathon on one while living at the space station in 2007, jogging in place to coincide with the Boston Marathon.

The COLBERT treadmill is a new version that will be operational in August, NASA spokesman Mike Curie said.

"We don't typically name U.S. space station hardware after living people and this is no exception," Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA's associate administrator for space operations, said, adding: "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."

---

On the Net:

NASA: http://www.nasa.gov/

http://www.colbertnation.com/home

---

AP Science Writer Seth Borenstein in Washington contributed to this report.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Planetary Society hopes tiny satellite sets sail above Earth

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA Astronaut to Run Boston Marathon in Space

Mar 29, 2007

NASA astronaut Suni Williams will go faster than anyone has ever gone in the Boston Marathon. She will run the famed race in April as an official entrant from 210 miles above Earth aboard the International ...

Space Station video now live on Internet -- mostly

Mar 11, 2009

(AP) -- NASA has started beaming live video from just outside the International Space Station, but there's a catch: The online feeds are available only when the station's crew is asleep or off duty.

Recommended for you

Tidal forces gave moon its shape, according to new analysis

9 hours ago

The shape of the moon deviates from a simple sphere in ways that scientists have struggled to explain. A new study by researchers at UC Santa Cruz shows that most of the moon's overall shape can be explained by taking into ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

deatopmg
not rated yet Apr 15, 2009
Typical - note the B.S.!