Will Colbert Be Going to Space?

"NASA is deciding on a name for the International Space Station's Node 3 -- a connecting module and its cupola -- before the two segments travel to space and are installed on the orbiting laboratory," the statement said. "The name should reflect the spirit of exploration and cooperation embodied by the space station and follow in the tradition set by Node 1 -- Unity -- and Node 2 -- Harmony.

"Space Shuttle Endeavour will deliver the Node 3 components during the STS-130 mission targeted for February 2010. Once the cupola is attached to one of the module's six ports, it will offer astronauts a spectacular view of both their home planet and their home in space," it said.

"The cupola's six rectangular windows and one circular window overhead will show a panoramic view that will be unrivaled by any other spacecraft ever flown," NASA's invitation for voting said. "Aside from providing a perfect location to observe and photograph the Earth, the cupola also will contain a robotics workstation, where astronauts will be able to control the station's giant robotic arm."

There have been 1,190,437 visitors to the Web site who voted or submitted a name. NASA says it will announce the winner this month.

The question: Will NASA let itself admit space can be fun and do something unexpected?

Maybe Colbert isn't so outrageous, if you are enough of a space buff to remember Apollo 10 with Snoopy and Charlie Brown.

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