Colbert wins ISS contest but don't expect a Colbert Mars rover

Remember last month's contest to name the International Space Station's Node 3? Well, NASA has just been punked! Stephen Colbert takes the crown -- and by a long shot.

The Associated Press reports that Colbert took in 230,539 votes, beating NASA's most popular choice, "Serenity," which took a mere 40,000.

Now, NASA wants you to name the next Mars rover, but this time no write-ins are allowed.

Can you blame them?

Last month, NASA asked the public to vote to name the Node 3, the latest addition to the International Space Station. The site gave four choices that included the celestial-sounding names of "Earthrise" and "Legacy." And then there was the write-in vote.

Early on, the leading candidate was Xenu--an intergalactic dictator, according to Scientology. Not to be outdone by a mere supreme being, the guys at Comedy Central's Colbert Report rallied the show's followers to write-in "Colbert."

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Space Module: Colbert - Name NASA's Node 3 After Stephen
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Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorMark Sanford

Out was Xenu, and in was Colbert.

But William Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for space operations, refused to commit to naming the Node 3 after Colbert (skip to 6:05 below for the relevant exchange).

A NASA representative told the AP that the space agency reserves the right to name Node 3, but will give "the most consideration" to the public's votes.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Space Module: Colbert - William Gerstenmaier
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Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorMark Sanford

It seems NASA liked the response it got for the naming experiment. Now, the space agency is upping the ante by asking us to name none other than the next Mars rover.

Unfortunately for Stephen Colbert only NASA's pre-approved names are in the running for possible names for the next Mars rover.

The choices come from primary and secondary school children and include "Journey," "Wonder" and "Amelia."

The comedian's critics might be a bit disappointed as well. I'm sure many of them would not mind sending Colbert to Mars. [I know, cheap joke.]

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