NASA Delays Mission to Install Colbert Treadmill
UPDATED 6:04 p.m. ET
NASA will not launch Shuttle Discovery early Wednesday morning due to a problem with a valve in its fuel tank. The mission was also postponed early Tuesday morning due to weather.
Whenever it blasts off, Discovery's crew will deliver seven tons of equipment to the International Space Station, including a treadmill named for Comedy Central host Steven Colbert. Earlier this year the talk show host won a NASA-sponsored competition to name part of the International Space Station, earning more than 230,000 of the 1.2 million votes cast.
Despite his victory, NASA instead gave the comedian what he calls "the traditional NASA consolation prize": a treadmill with his name on it.
C.O.L.B.E.R.T., or the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill, will serve as the Space station's second treadmill. It's a bit louder and bigger than the first, but will help the crew complete the mandated eight combined hours of daily exercise.
Before the launch, Colbert videotaped an "attaboy" message to the astronauts (watch above).
"I just want to congratulate you on a great year. Your dramatic pictures from Cassini. Finding water on Mars, and your dramatic discovery of a new administration that believes in science," he jokes.
"It's been a great year for me too. I of course was the winner of your online node-naming competition. Despite my coming in first place in the popular vote, you named the node tranquility. Yeah, that'll scare the aliens."
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