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NASA To Name Space Station Node On Colbert Report

An astronaut from the agency will break the news on Comedy Central.

NASA will unveil its new nodule for the International Space Station on TV's The Colbert Report on Tuesday.

Expedition 14 and 15 astronaut Sunita "Suni" Williams will announce the nodule's new name on Comedy Central at 11:30 p.m. EDT. NASA said it chose the name from thousands of suggestions submitted through its Web site, which urged visitors to vote for one of four predetermined names or to recommend their own.

"The node naming poll was organic and took on a life of its own," Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Space Operations at NASA headquarters in Washington, said in a statement released last week. "We received more than a million entries, in large part because social media Web sites and television programs, such as 'The Colbert Report,' took an interest. This spread overall awareness of the International Space Station."

The Colbert Report producers offered to air the announcement of the name after host Stephen Colbert urged his followers to name it after him.

"I certainly hope NASA does the right thing," Colbert said in a statement released by the space agency. "Just kidding, I hope they name it after me."

NASA had originally planned to announce the name April 28 after Node 3 arrived at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, but the node's arrival has been delayed until May. It's scheduled for launch aboard the space shuttle Endeavour later this year.

The node is a pressurized module that expands the space station's capacity and will hold many of its life-support systems. It holds an attachment, the cupola, which is a unique workstation with six windows around the sides and one on top.

InformationWeek will be highlighting innovative government IT organizations in an upcoming issue. Nominate your agency by submitting an essay on your most innovative IT initiative completed in the last year. Find out more, and nominate your organization by May 1.

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