NASA is to officially name its new node for the International Space Station on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, being screened later tonight in the US. Over a million people voted, with the whole marketing effort gaining momentum after being featured on Stephen Colbert's show.
NASA's own preferred name was "Serenity" but this has been relegated to the foothills of second place. NASA astronaut Sunita Williams is appearing on Stephen Colbert's show tonight to announce the new name. Some uncharitable souls have speculated that the new ISS module's toilet might be named after Colbert. "I certainly hope NASA does the right thing," said Colbert. "Just kidding, I hope they name it after me."
A marketing success for NASA and a marketing coup for Comedy Central. That's what it takes to push science into the celebrity market. Perhaps next time they should auction the name and sell advertising space on the module. Will the astronauts Twitter from space?