Stephen Colbert 'Go' for Space Shuttle Launch

Stephen Colbert 'Go' for Space Shuttle Launch
Comedian Stephen Colbert sends a video message to NASA on the eve of the shuttle Discovery's Aug. 25, 2009 launch to send his space treadmill to the International Space Station. (Image credit: NASA TV.)

CAPECANAVERAL, Fla. - Comedian Stephen Colbert is go for the space shuttleDiscovery?s Tuesday launch, even if he can?t watch the spacecraft send atreadmill named after him into orbit with his own two eyes.

NASAinvited Colbert, host of Comedy Central?s ?The Colbert Report,? to watchDiscovery?s launch at 1:36 a.m. EDT (0536 GMT), but the comedian was unableto attend. Instead, he sent NASA a recorded video message urging astronauts totake advantage of the new COLBERT treadmill that is carrying his name to theInternational Space Station.

NASA namedthe treadmill COLBERT, short for the lengthy moniker Combined Operational LoadBearing External Resistance Treadmill, earlier this year after the comedian wonan online poll to name a new space station room after him. NASA opted to namethe new module Tranquility, after the Apollo 11 moon base, instead. But as aconsolation, Colbert got his name - and face - ona new treadmill for the space station?s gym.

WhileColbert lamented losing the space station room, he took some solace knowingthat his treadmill will help keep flabbyastronauts healthy.

?Let?s faceit, being weightless is mostly just a desperate bid to get away from thebathroom scale every morning,? he said.

In hisvideo message, Colbert told NASA?s spaceflyers to lay off the astronaut icecream and to stretch before using the COLBERT treadmill ?because in space no onecan hear you pull a hammy.?

He closed withone final message to NASA: "Now this is Stephen Colbert saying, I am go to launch me. Let?s light this candle!?

Discoveryis poised to launch on a13-day mission to the International Space Station, where itsseven-astronaut crew will deliver the COLBERT treadmill along with more than 7tons of other cargo. Three spacewalks and a one-astronaut crew change for thestation?s six-person crew are also planned.

Discoveryhas an 80 percent chance of good launch weather and is now fully fueled for itspredawn Tuesday launch.

Clickhere to watch Colbert?s video message on, a SPACE.compartner.

SPACE.comwill provide complete coverage of Discovery's STS-128 mission to theInternational Space Station with Managing Editor Tariq Malik in Cape Canaveral,Fla., and Staff Writer Clara Moskowitz. Click here for shuttle missionupdates and a link to NASA TV.


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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.