Will NASA name space station after comedian Colbert?

NASA astronaut set to disclose the name of the station's new wing on the air Tuesday night

Will NASA make good on its promise to let the public pick the name for the new wing of the International Space Station?

Comedian Stephen Colbert certainly hopes so. And Colbert, the host of The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, will get his answer Tuesday night.

NASA is expanding the space station with the addition of Node 3, which will house life support equipment and controls for the station's robotic arm. Node 3, however, isn't a very catchy name, so NASA started an online poll to let the public name the new wing.

What NASA may not have been counting on was Colbert spurring on his fans, known as Colbert Nation, to go online to NASA's web site to write in "Colbert" as the new name for Node 3. And Colbert Nation not only voted, they voted in droves.

The digital ballot box stuffing worked. The name "Colbert" actually got more than 230,000 votes - that's 40,000 more votes than the top-ranked NASA-suggested name, "Serenity".

"The node naming poll was organic and took on a life of its own," said Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Space Operations at NASA, in a statement.

"We received more than a million entries, in large part because social media Web sites and television programs, such as The Colbert Report, took an interest. This spread overall awareness of the International Space Station."

But will NASA actually name the wing after a comedian? It's been a bit up in the air, with space.com reporting that NASA insiders had tossed around the idea of naming the space station's new toilet "Colbert".

Colbert prodded NASA on his show, saying, "It's been two very long weeks since I won NASA's online poll to have a node on the International Space Station named after me but still no official announcement," he told a cheering audience. "NASA, don't make me strap a rocket to an intern and launch him into space with a can of spray paint."

All will be revealed Tuesday night. NASA is sending astronaut Sunita L. Williams, who served as a flight engineer aboard the International Space Station, to make the announcement on The Colbert Report Tuesday night.

Williams has conducted four spacewalks, totaling 29 hours and 17 minutes outside the spacecraft. She has spent 195 days in space.

"I certainly hope NASA does the right thing," said Colbert, in a statement. "Just kidding, I hope they name it after me."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags international space stationNASAStephen Colbert

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?