Steven Colbert Conquers Space – Again

     March 24, 2009

Written by Nicole Pedersen

Members of the Colbert Nation are well aware that Stephen is constantly looking out for opportunities for his name to be glorified. Currently he has a bald eagle, a tortoise, a genetically engineered spider species and a Virgin Airlines jet all named after him. But fans of the Comedy Central talk show host also know that Stephen has a special weakness for space exploration – his sperm is probably out there fertilizing new, faux-conservative universes as we speak. So a chance to marry the Colbert name with the majesty of space was an opportunity too sweet for Stephen to resist.

A few weeks back Colbert noticed that NASA was running an online contest that asked people to vote for a new name for a room on the international space station. NASA’s top-choice was “Serenity” but they left a loophole that was Colbert shaped – the contest allowed write-in ballots.

Colbert mobilized his loyal nation – the same people who peppered Wikipedia with erroneous entries two years back – and the rest is NASA history. The contest ended with “Stephen Colbert” as the clear winner with over 230,000 votes. This beat out Serenity by about 40,000.

As Colbert himself noted, however, the rules of the contest state that NASA has the right to override any write-in winners and to choose an “appropriate name”. So get ready to see the christening of the “Serenity” room NOT covered on CNN next week.

But if I may offer some advice to our beleaguered space industry, what do you have to lose by naming the room after Stephen Colbert? Tucker Carlson probably won’t approve but let’s face it – Stephen Colbert makes news. Considering that the biggest NASA-related stories of the past few years included a diaper-clad astronaut and a homeless bat that refused to vacate the shuttle, I’m pretty sure they NASA has nothing to lose by hopping on Stephen Colbert’s gravy train.

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