Feeds

NASA rejects democracy, names ISS node 'Tranquility'

Get sweaty on the COLBERT

Boost IT visibility and business value

NASA has selected the name "Tranquility" for the International Space Station's new living quarters, not only rejecting attempts by Comedy Central's Steven Colbert to get the new node named after himself but also largely ignoring a popular vote on the subject.

Despite "Colbert" winning the space agency's Help Name Node 3 online poll by a landslide, NASA opted to name the module after after the area of Apollo 11's historic lunar landing, made 40 years ago this July.

"We don't typically name US space station hardware after living people and this is no exception," said Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA's associate administrator for space operations. "However, NASA is naming its new space station treadmill the 'Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill,' or COLBERT. We have invited Steven to Florida for the launch of COLBERT and to Houston to tryout a version of the treadmill that astronauts train on."

Tranquility wasn't the second most popular vote behind Colbert, or even the fourth. The chosen name was in fact a distant eighth in the list of public write-ins, begging the questions: what was the point of the poll anyway?

NASA's node-naming campaign asked its online audience to vote for the module's new name by choosing one of four NASA-approved options (Earthrise, Legacy, Serenity, Venture) or by making their own suggestions. Soon after the poll was opened, Colbert hijacked the contest by urging fans of his television show to enter his name in the running - ultimately earning 230,539 votes compared to the second place and NASA-approved choice, "Serenity."

The poll was supposed to be part of NASA's strategy of public outreach to drum up interest in the ISS, which clearly mistakenly suggested the public's opinion would have factored in the naming. The contest rules stated that while NASA will take into consideration the results of the voting, it "reserves the right to ultimately select a name in accordance to the best interests of the agency." Most following the contest assumed if the agency wasn't going to name the node Colbert, it would at least choose the most popular NASA-approved suggestion.

Newly-Christened Tranquility is scheduled to arrive at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida in May. It will depart for the ISS on space shuttle Endeavour's mission STS-130, targeted for a February 2010 liftoff. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!
Spanish launch goes titsup, we're off to the US of A
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
Boffins build CYBORG-MOTHRA but not for evil: For search & rescue
This tiny bio-bot will chew through your clothes then save your life
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?