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NASA Space Media Television

NASA To Announce Module Name On Colbert Show 201

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the what's-in-a-name dept.
olddotter noted that NASA's Facebook page says "NASA's newest module for the International Space Station will get a new name on April 14. The agency plans to make the announcement with the help of Expedition 14 and 15 astronaut Sunita 'Suni' Williams on Comedy Central's 'The Colbert Report.' The program will air at 11:30 p.m. EDT."
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NASA To Announce Module Name On Colbert Show

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  • by reidiq (1434945) on Monday April 13, 2009 @11:17AM (#27556987)
    Ok, everybody. There was a lot of talk about the name of this module. We are on the Colbert Report tonight to talk about what name we picked after all the submissions. Tonight, we are glad to announce that the name will be, Jonathan Stewart!
    • by stereoroid (234317) on Monday April 13, 2009 @11:43AM (#27557413) Homepage Journal
      The module won't be named after Colbert, because NASA has already found a place for his name: a new commode [space.com]. As in "back in a few minutes, I need to go and use the Colbert".
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Rude Turnip (49495)

        This reminds me of the Howard Stern Rest Stop controversy in the middle 1990s. When Christine Todd Whitman was elected governor of NJ, one of her campaign promises was to name a highway rest stop after Howard Stern. The designated rest stop ended up being one that is notorious for anonymous gay sex.

        • by c6gunner (950153)

          The designated rest stop ended up being one that is notorious for anonymous gay sex.

          Hopefully that won't be the case for the Colbert Commode ... gay astronauts in zero-g sex probably isn't the image NASA wants to project.

      • Nah (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        that will be named Bush or cheney. Always full of crap and fails a lot.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by WindBourne (631190)
          And all this time, I thought W.C. stood for Water Closet. Instead, it was W and Cheney.
  • Too "Colbert".. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bradgoodman (964302)
    It would be too "Colbert"...for NASA to come on his show and announce that they decided to name it "Tranquility", or whatever else they were planning on actually naming it anyways.

    You'd assume this means they decided to name it after him...wanna bet?

    • by paganizer (566360)

      Not Tranquility, Serenity.
      As a member of both the Colbert nation and the Brownshirts, I'm torn.
      But, since it is essentially a toilet, I think Colbert should get the honors; Serenity should be the name of a spacegoing vessel.

      • Re:Too "Colbert".. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday April 13, 2009 @11:51AM (#27557527) Homepage Journal

        But, since it is essentially a toilet, I think Colbert should get the honors; Serenity should be the name of a spacegoing vessel.

        Amen to that. Let me try this comment again, I think it got modded down by the dumber side of the Firefly fanbase (you know, the side I'm not on) last time: Serenity is a spaceship. This thing is not only not a spaceship, but its ass does not glow. It does not make any sense whatsoever, whatsofuckingever to name it Serenity. I know a lot of you loved the show, so did I; I know a lot of you voted for that name, but it was silly. Don't get your back up because you're wrong :D

        I do have to admit to liking the idea of naming just the toilet after Colbert. He likes to twist people's dicks after all (metaphorically speaking, so far as I know) and it would only be justice. But then we'd probably end up with a toilet module named Serenity which is just not much of a tribute. Sorry.

        • by centuren (106470)

          Serenity is a spaceship. This thing is not only not a spaceship, but its ass does not glow. It does not make any sense whatsoever, whatsofuckingever to name it Serenity.

          I've been watching NASA's mostly-boring cable feed, and the crew on the ISS (American, Russian, and Japanese alike) all seem to refer to and consider the ISS a spaceship. It's certainly not fixed in space, and it tends to act much like the space shuttles do (orbiting w/ maneuvering thrusters, etc).

          I haven't really looked to closely at it, and obviously it's not going to fly to the moon any time soon, but at this point in history I think it's a little farfetched to categorize the ISS as "not a spaceship". If

          • by centuren (106470)

            I finally RTFA, and hopefully the "top suggestions" won't be considered.

            LOL @ Xenu, though. I'm sure that would go over well.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by shadowbearer (554144)

          The word "serenity" predates a certain wonderful science show by quite a few centuries.

          It fits in very well with the nomenclature used for the other modules.

          It also describes the feeling of seeing the earth from orbit.

          I've seen entirely too much of this "OMG it's from a teenager science fiction drama" on this site to think that there are many adults (!=age) on this site anymore.

          Even if it was named after the valley where a certain SF character lost a war and/or a SF s

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by clintp (5169)

        I'm reminded of the dumbasses that lobbied to get the shuttle prototype named "Enterprise". Due to design changes, it never went into space. Nice tribute.

        On the plus side, it didn't blow up either.

      • How about "Albatross" for the station?
    • Re:Too "Colbert".. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by eln (21727) on Monday April 13, 2009 @11:43AM (#27557401) Homepage

      NASA has done segments with Colbert before, such as when the astronaut aboard the ISS was interviewed on his show. I would imagine Colbert's core audience of young college students appeals to NASA quite a bit. The trick, as for anyone that shows up on his program, is to go with a good non-ridiculous name and present it in a funny way on his show.

      I think their best bet would be to name the node itself Serenity and name the actual urine recycling unit inside "Colbert". That should appease his audience and make for good TV as well.

      • I think the worst part of it is - the name "Serenity" is so damn boooring - as were all the other "NASA" names. It's grey, meaningless, and forgetful - just like all the others. Committee decided and approved.

        The Simpson's said it best:

        "Todays [astronaut] crew is a real diverse bunch - we have a mathematician, a different kind of mathamatician, and a statistician."

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by digitalhermit (113459)

          Serenity is as meaningful as "Enterprise". Hell, the name "Enterprise" is pretty damn boring without the back-history. It conjures visions of boardrooms and suits, "enterprise-wide mandate", "enterprise agreement", "enterprise regulations".

          • Note that "Enterprise" has a long history even outside of fiction. A USS Enterprize was one of the most famous ships of the wars against the Barbary Pirates, c. 1800. As far as I know, that's not the case for the name Serenity.

            I wouldn't knock the word "Enterprise" as a cool name either. It's similar to "Endeavor," "Adventure," "Challenge" and related concepts of hurtling into danger. I think the word "Adventurer" originally referred not just to seafaring traders/explorers but to their financial backers a
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by rolfwind (528248)

        I think their best bet would be to name the node itself Serenity and name the actual urine recycling unit inside "Colbert".

        I think the node should be called Colbert and the commode/urine_recycling_unit be named Serenity. Don't you want to experience Serenity on the Colbert as well?

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday April 13, 2009 @11:21AM (#27557049) Homepage Journal

    The program will air at 11:30 p.m. EDT. The name, which will not be publicly released until the program airs."

    The paragraph, which will not make sense until this sentence is substantially revised.

  • The name (Score:5, Funny)

    by Ambiguous Coward (205751) on Monday April 13, 2009 @11:24AM (#27557099) Homepage

    The summary, which the editors did not read.

    Is this some sort of crazy neo-yoda-speak? Am I missing out on a new meme? :(

  • by iamhigh (1252742) on Monday April 13, 2009 @11:28AM (#27557159)
    This is probably the first time in 10 years news about NASA has stuck in my mind. Sure some scientific stuff is interesting to read... sure I hear press releases and news tidbits, but those go in one ear out the other. This is the best "stick to your ribs" news (aka marketing) NASA has made with the post baby boomers.
    • 2003 called. It says we lost another Space Shuttle.
    • This is probably the first time in 10 years news about NASA has stuck in my mind. Sure some scientific stuff is interesting to read... sure I hear press releases and news tidbits, but those go in one ear out the other. This is the best "stick to your ribs" news (aka marketing) NASA has made with the post baby boomers.

      This says something sad about you but if you are representative of the rest of the population as well, it says something sad about all of us.

      Personally, I've been luvin' me some NASA news for ages. Between Hubble, the mars landers, greater internet access to space imagery, the ISS... Shit, losing a shuttle didn't garner your attention?

      I will agree that huffing some goof-balls and going on the Colbert Report is good PR but I'd be sad to think that circus antics is the only way we could interest people in spa

    • And ultimately - that's the problem. If it's not entertainment, the post Boomer generation couldn't care less. As you say, in one ear and out the other.

  • by John Hasler (414242) on Monday April 13, 2009 @11:32AM (#27557241) Homepage

    Land toilet -> crapper, ship's toilet -> head, space toilet -> colbert

    Let's start a campaign. From now on a space toilet shall be a "colbert".

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Talderas (1212466)

      Sorry chap, I'm going to have to take a short break from this experiment. I feel a most dire need to drop a deuce in the Colbert, lest I drop a deuce in my suit, and we know what happened the last time that happened.

    • by jollyreaper (513215) on Monday April 13, 2009 @12:41PM (#27558299)

      Land toilet -> crapper, ship's toilet -> head, space toilet -> colbert

      Let's start a campaign. From now on a space toilet shall be a "colbert".

      That really does fit. Space toilets are odd machines to begin with. They actually use an impeller to move the waste into the collection unit since there's no gravity to rely on. So in other words, the shit hits the fan by design! If that doesn't sound like a Colbert device, I don't know what does.

    • Why can't we call it a Colbert on land too? "I'm heading to the Colbert to take a Colbert." "Man, my Colbert stinks! I shouldn't have had those tacos for lunch." One if by land, two if by Colbert.

      For the record, I love the Colbert Report. Especially the one a week or so ago where he lambasted Glen Beck for making his career off of 9/11. Colbert and Stewart are amazing.

  • by rlseaman (1420667) on Monday April 13, 2009 @11:33AM (#27557263)

    The real news was that this was announced on the NASA Facebook page. The medium is always the message - as Colbert's success demonstrates.

  • by Mordac (1009) on Monday April 13, 2009 @11:41AM (#27557385)

    I know its been covered a lot elsewhere (scienceblogs.com) but I don't think it can be understated. Colbert Report is a great venue for science, a wonderful public face. He's had on lots of scientists, more than any show I can recall in a couple decades.

    I don't recall the last fun show that had the host actually talking to an Astronaut in orbit.

    So even if NASA goes with Serenity for the name, I'm glad they went onto Colbert to announce it.

  • by paralaxcreations (981218) <george&paralaxcreations,com> on Monday April 13, 2009 @12:01PM (#27557671) Homepage

    I think, judging by their chosen venue, the name they release will be obvious. To do otherwise would just be tacky.

    "Yes, we'll get all the recognition we can from your show, but not scratch your back in kind."

    Glad they went with it, as it was the winner. Aside from that, the name marks much more than anything like Serenity would.

    Serenity shows the world what? There are a few scifi geeks in NASA? At most, maybe that they find inspiration in grand goals. Naming it Colbert, on the other hand, signifies a return to pop-culture significance. That the people are excited about space again. Or at the very least, naming it after Colbert will ensure that the module stays in the public eye as he continues his "status updates" (like he did for his baby eagle and a few other stunts). It would be a huge missed marketing opportunity NOT to name it after a television host who has supported science more than any other in recent history.

    Of course, they already know this. That's why it's being revealed on his show.

    • by mea37 (1201159) on Monday April 13, 2009 @12:22PM (#27557967)

      Not sure I'd declare victory until the facts are in. I don't know which way they'll go, but if I were to bet, I would bet against the name being Colbert.

      Saying it would be "tacky" to announce a name other than Colbert on Colbert's show misses the entire context in which this is happening. Colbert doesn't take these stunts seriuosly. If anything, the Colbert character needs things to be outraged about.

      • True. But the character also needs things to be egotistical about. And let's face it, NASA needs all the public support they can get. And I think they know it. Their job has - regrettably - primarily been justified by the government as a morale builder. It's in their own best interest to keep people excited about space. If they had a vote that they didn't plan on upholding, that would just cause those that participated to lose faith in the organization.

        Outside of the tongue-in-cheek nature of the show

    • Actually, I think that announcing it on the show is an attempt at a graceful way to say "no."

    • by Phroggy (441)

      I think, judging by their chosen venue, the name they release will be obvious. To do otherwise would just be tacky.

      You forget, tackiness is the whole point of The Colbert Report! The host [wikipedia.org] thinks with his gut, doesn't like facts, is proud of his narcissism, and has an irrational fear of bears. When introducing a guest, he himself runs around in front of the audience accepting their applause while the guest remains seated. His book is titled "I Am America (And So Can You)". He calls himself "Sir Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, D. F. A." after receiving an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Knox College and recently being kn

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        This is true. But it's also done as satire. The dog and pony show, which is in some respects pure genius, is all in an effort to shine a light on the ridiculousness of the media and the institutions that it reports on.

        Sir Dr. Stephen T. Colbert D.F.A. attacks most "harshly" the things that common sense says there's no point in attacking. Controversial subjects are glazed over while minutia are battled. It's a show that goes much farther than the reach of the TCR stage. In a recent interview on the Today sho

    • by StikyPad (445176)

      On the contrary, I'm pretty sure they won't name it Colbert, because an international venture such as the ISS is hardly the venue to recognize a B-List comedian. I'm pretty sure that announcing the name on the Colbert Report *is* the concession, rather than the name itself. I'd put my money on "Serenity" as the winner.

  • Watching it online? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by CopaceticOpus (965603) on Monday April 13, 2009 @12:02PM (#27557689)

    I'd like to watch this show, but I don't have cable. It's very nice that they have full episodes available on Colbert Nation [colbertnation.com]. However, is there any way to watch the show online Tuesday night? Does anyone know how long they wait before putting that night's show onto the web?

    • by mdielmann (514750)

      Just scream "RAIN!!!" every time someone tries to tell you about it until you can watch the torrent. That's what I plan on doing.

    • by StikyPad (445176)

      It's usually available in torrent form within 2 hours of airing. At least, that's the norm for every other show on TV.

      Of course there's a third option: Make some friends.

  • Serenity now! Serenity now! SERENITY NOW!

    Hehe, I loved that episode. What is this "Firefly" you speak of? Was it on before or after Seinfeld?

  • NASA guy introduces Patrick Stewart who walks out in robes and a crown and says, "From this day forth, all the toilets in space shall be known as... Colberts!" Then he beams off the stage. They don't even have to name the module just all the toilets. I'd be happy even though I voted Colbert.

  • ...his followers to name the module after one of the phrases flashed during the opening sequence of his show. I would have loved to see it named "Multigrain".
  • The name to be announced will be "Colbert's Serenity", as in being in the the state of "serenity" while sitting on the "Colbert".

    If this shows up in tomorrow's episode, Colbert owes me $50,000 for my writer's fee.

  • by Ifni (545998) on Monday April 13, 2009 @04:07PM (#27562081) Homepage
    "NASA's newest module for the International Space Station will get a new name on April 14. The agency plans to make the announcement with the help of Expedition 14 and 15 astronaut Sunita 'Suni' Williams on Comedy Central's 'The Colbert Report.' The program will air at 11:30 p.m. EDT."

    Transcript of NASA segment from the April 14th, 2009 Colbert show.

    Colbert: As many of our watchers will recall, NASA recently had a contest allowing the public to vote for the new name for "Node 3", the newest module of the International Space Station. Thanks to you, my fans, the highest voted name was "Colbert". However, NASA reserves the right to select any name they choose, regardless of the results of the contest, leaving many wondering if my prestigious and time honored name will indeed grace the new module.

    (laughter from audience)

    Colbert: Tonight, we have a very special guest from NASA - a two time visitor to the International Space Station - here to officially announce the selected name. Please offer a warm welcome for Astronaut Sunita Williams!

    (audience cheers) Sunita walks on stage, shakes hands with Colbert.

    Colbert: Thank you for coming.

    Sunita: It's a pleasure to be here.

    Colbert: I know we are all waiting to hear what NASA has decided, but first tell the audience a little about yourself.

    (Snipped for brevity - read about her here [wikipedia.org]. She was one of the astronauts to use the ametuer radio stations on the station to talk with school children - very cool stuff.)

    Colbert: Thank you "Suni". You've done some amazing things, and we look forward to the contributions yet to come. (applause from audience) Ok, it looks like we might have a revolt on our hands if we don't cut to the chase. NASA has chosen you to officially announce - here, tonight - the name of the newest module for the International Space Station.

    Sunita: Yes.

    Colbert: Then, without further delay, Sunita Williams, ladies and gentlemen.

    Suinita: Thank you. "Node 3", as it has been known, is the newest addition to the ISS, due to be sent up February 2010. It will provide life support systems, including water recycling and oxygen generation, for the ISS. Tonight, it is my great honor to announce on behalf of NASA that it has now, officially, been renamed "Xenu". (laughter from audience) No, seriously.

    (Sunita can't keep her face straight, causing Colbert to break from script with a smile. Sunita breaks into laughter)

    Colbert: We are going to get sued for this.

    End Transcript - sorry, you're going to have to wait for tomorrow's airing for the revelation of the true name.

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