NASA names upcoming treadmill C.O.L.B.E.R.T.

Recently, NASA held an online poll to allow people to help pick the name of a new module heading to the ISS. NASA put several potential names of its own into the mix and allowed participants to write in a name they wanted to suggest. Among the names that NASA suggested in the poll were Serenity, Legacy, Earthrise, and Venture.

Stephen Colbert from the Comedy Central show "The Colbert Report" urged his fans to vote to name the module "Colbert". The urgings paid off with "Colbert" winning the poll. However, NASA announced this week that it would not name the module "Colbert"; instead, NASA says it will name a treadmill after the comedian.

The module previously known as Node 3 will now be called Tranquility. Ironically, Tranquility was the eighth most popular name in the poll. NASA-supplied "Serenity" was in second place behind "Colbert." Why exactly NASA didn't at least go with the second place name is unknown.

Tranquility is a nod to the location that the Apollo 11 astronauts landed on the moon. The treadmill is going to be known as the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill or COLBERT for short.

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

Getting a treadmill named after him might not be what Colbert initially had in mind, but perhaps he should be happy that Node 3 wasn't equipped with a toilet or things could have been worse.

"I think a treadmill is better than a node ... because the node is just a box for the treadmill," remarked Colbert on Tuesday's broadcast of his nightly show. "Nobody says, 'Hey, my mom bought me a Nike box.' They want the shoes that are inside."

You can see the announcement made yesterday at Comedy Central's website.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad
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