This week, Stephen Colbert has finally gotten what he deserves: a piece of the International Space Station named after him. But it's not the module he had hoped for. It's a treadmill. And it's still in over a hundred pieces.
The treadmill's official name is the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill, but it's known to most as COLBERT. The device was named for America's favorite fake pundit after a long, hard-fought battle. And it all started with an online contest.
Earlier in the year, NASA had an online vote to decide the name of their new space station module. Colbert's giant fan-base did their work, and Colbert took the top spot. In an affront to the comedian (who considers pretty much anything an affront), NASA chose to name the module Tranquility, in honor of the anniversary of landing on the Moon's Sea of Tranquility.
As a peace offering, NASA instead chose to name this treadmill after Stephen Colbert. They even commissioned one of their sometimes wacky mission patches for the treadmill. Colbert seems pleased; he said through his publicist that he was glad his treadmill will "help trim down those famously fat astronauts."
Not yet, though. The treadmill was delivered this week, so it's in space and ready to be set up. But it won't get set up until later this month. Right now it's in over a hundred pieces. But it's there. And that means Colbert has joined ranks with Richard Nixon, as his name will be on our space junk even after humanity has moved on. Congrats, Mr. Colbert.
Comedian's Treadmill Installed at Space Station [Discovery News]
(Images from Nasa)