NASA compromises with Colbert in naming contest

(excerpt from) Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Colbert’s NASA Dreams Are Crushed… Hilariously
By Mickey O’Connor / Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Democracy is dead: NASA has opted not to name a room in the international space station after Stephen Colbert.

Even though Colbert won an online poll by a landslide, NASA instead chose “Tranquility,” which came in eighth place in the poll, as the room’s new moniker…

But it’s not all bad news: On Tuesday’s The Colbert Report, NASA astronaut Sunita Williams announced that Colbert will get his small piece of immortality after all, as the organization voted to name a treadmill on board the space station after him.

The treadmill in question will heretofore be known as the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT)…

Previous coverage of the Colbert story at IPR is: here.

15 thoughts on “NASA compromises with Colbert in naming contest

  1. Kimberly Wilder Post author


    I think this is awesome.

    And, I think it truly shows the power of Colbert, that his fans made such a show of support in the poll, and also that NASA had to give him and them something. NASA must have been worried about what would happen if they just overlooked his showing.

    Can you imagine the outcry among fans and politicians, and political fans, if they dissed Colbert? People like that are loud!

    Really, someone has to get this guy to run for President…for real this time…third party.

  2. Tomcat

    My question is, what’s the point in having the pole if you’re going to name it whatever you want anyways?

    I mean, that’s awfully Congressional of NASA, isn’t it? 😉

  3. Libertarian Joseph

    While I’m more fond of NASA than virtually any other government program, the correct course of action is to shut it down and deregulate the industry, to allow for the free market to come in and actually innovate. NASA is pretty much dead, did you know that they’re now working with private companies because they can’t do shit? yeah, pretty much

  4. Kimberly Wilder

    Dear Libertarian Joseph,

    I did mull over whether this post was worthy of third party politics.

    The reason that I put Colbert in the category of third party politics is that he ran as a candidate for president in a manner which was different than “straight forward” of one party or the other. So, I see him as someone toying with breaking the system. (Just as I would see some people running authentic insurgent primary campaigns in this manner.)

    Also, because so many of our third parties wind up running celebrity candidates, my intuition tells me that Colbert could become a third party candidate sometime. And, the huge amount of votes he got nationwide in this poll are testament to that fact.

    I posted about Colbert partly as a hint to third parties to consider recruiting him. (And, that fact was made more clear in my previous post which I attached to this one as a related story.)

    Thanks for helping to keep us on focus by reflecting on these decisions.

  5. Mike Theodore

    I agree with Trent. But in other news, NASA needs to lighten up. They certainly aren’t impressing anyone anymore, and they’re not exactly breaking down scientific barriers.

  6. d.eris

    I’m more in line with Kimberly here, though I think Trent and Joseph also have a point. The Colbert case is instructive, however, if only because it couldn’t be, or wasn’t ignored.

  7. Kimberly Wilder

    Peter O…thanks for the tip.

    Besides the fact that Colbert said he would run with the Democratic OR Republican Party or both, which was a comic jibe about the lack of difference between the two…

    Also, Rasmussen must have heard a rumor that Colbert could run as an independent…

    October 24, 2007
    POLL: Rasmussen Colbert as an Independent

    By Eric Dienstfrey

    A new Rasmussen Reports automated survey of 1,200 likely voters (conducted 10/19 through 10/21) finds:

    * General Election Match-ups:
    Clinton 45%, Giuliani 35%, Colbert 13%
    Clinton 46%, Thompson 34%, Colbert 12%

  8. whatever

    Colbert received more voted for the LP Presidential nomination in 1008 than Christine Smith.

  9. whatever

    Colbert received more votes for the LP Presidential nomination in 2008 than Christine Smith.

  10. Jim Davidson

    @14 I remember 1008. It was a fine year. But not an election year in the USA.

    It is sort of like a story. For some reason there isn’t any coverage of “Shadow Cabinet member analyses NASA appointee Bolden.”

    See for details.

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