Walk-on role in space for TV comic

NASA have had the last laugh on a top TV comic who “won” their space station naming contest. They have awarded Stephen Colbert a consolation prize – by putting his name on the orbiting outpost’s new treadmill.

The COLBERT mission patchColbert, who shot to fame as the roving reporter on The Daily Show, got his army of fans to put his name forward for a section of the International Space Station, 230 miles above the Earth.

They got the most votes. But NASA ignored the fix and called the new module Tranquility instead.

Now space chiefs have got their revenge by naming a new exercise machine the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill – or COLBERT for short.

NASA artists have even designed a humorous “mission patch” for the new treadmill which will be delivered to the space station in August.

It means astronauts’ feet will be pounding on the US comic’s namesake whenever they need to keep in shape, stay fit and fight off bone loss and muscle decay. Bungee-style cords will tie them to the machine so that they do not float away in weightlessness.

NASA have more about the treadmill here. Colbert now stars in hit comedy satire The Colbert Report.

Picture: The COLBERT “mission patch”. (Credit: NASA).

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Paul Sutherland

Paul Sutherland

I have been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. I write regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy. I have also authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.
Paul Sutherland

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Paul Sutherland

I have been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. I write regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy. I have also authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.

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