On Thursday, May 3, Buzz Aldrin, Apollo XI Astronaut and Member of the NSS Board of Governors, presented a 2012 Space Pioneer Award for Mass Media to Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report on the Comedy Central cable network.
Colbert is receiving the award in recognition for his unceasing promotion of “space tourism, space development, NASA programs, and the use of private enterprise for better access to space”, all of which are supported by NSS. He frequently interviews astronauts, space entrepreneurs and scientists, demonstrating that it is possible to inform the public on serious space topics in a comedic setting.
Colbert is probably best known in the space community for his campaign to name a new space station node that actually resulted in the naming of a space station treadmill after him. The Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill, or C.O.L.B.E.R.T. for short, is located in the Tranquility node of the ISS, the node that was the subject of the naming competition. Colbert received the most votes; however NASA decided to name the node after the Sea of Tranquility, site of the Apollo XI moon landing.
NSS Executive Director Paul E. Damphousse, Stephen Colbert, and lunar astronaut Buzz Aldrin.