Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Live at KSC: "Tranquility" Node Arriving

The International Space Station module made famous by comedian Stephen Colbert is due to land at Kennedy Space Center this afternoon.

Delayed a bit by rain and crosswinds at KSC, an Airbus Beluga aircraft was scheduled to touch down at the Shuttle Landing Facility at 3:30 p.m. after a stopover in Buffalo.

The hardware was built in and delivered from Italy.

NASA launched a contest to name the pressurized module known as Node 3. Rallied by Colbert, a majority of voters recommended naming the node after him.

Instead, NASA dubbed it "Tranquility" and named a treadmill after Colbert.

The Tranquility node will be joined to a six-windowed cupola already at KSC. It will be the last major addition to the U.S. portion of the station.

The module will support station life support systems, while the cupola will serve as a robotics work station.

The two components are scheduled to be launched to the station aboard Endeavour in February 2010 on the STS-130 mission.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

NASA Blew it…

They had a chance to have a permanent spokesman for NASA and the ISS, simply by naming the module after comedian Stephen Cobert. Instead, they knuckled under to the typical Government-run plutocratic rules and played it safe with “Tranquility”. Yawn.

Sure, Colbert is brash, irreverent and mostly funny. But he’s on TV! Even though his audience is small compared to, say, Rush Limbaugh, he would have provided NASA with positive PR… something that is priceless!

Instead, they decided ignore the democrat process and make fun of a comedian…they should have looked for the biggest bang for their buck.

Rick Steele
Sarasota, Florida

Todd Halvorson said...

Rick:

I'm going to have to disagree with you here.

Naming the module Colbert would have been goofy, and chances are that in five or 10 years Colbert will have expended his 15 minutes of fame and will be long-forgotten.

And I kind of like the idea of hearing this on the air-to-ground loops: "Houston, Tranquility Base here...."

Todd

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