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Stephen Colbert Treadmill Gets Good Use in Space

Stephen Colbert Treadmill Gets Good Use in Space

Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" had a big night Sunday night with two Emmy wins. The occasion was a good reason for one writer to remind folks that Colbert has a treadmill named after him on NASA's International Space Station.

This is the official NASA patch that is on the C.O.L.B.E.R.T. treadmill on the NASA International Space Station. (Photo courtesy of NASA/Wikimedia Commons.)

Megan Garber of The Atlantic, whose work we've noted in a blog post earlier this year, wrote about the treadmill Monday after Colbert's Emmy wins for outstanding variety series (ending the streak of 10 consecutive Emmy wins for Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show") and outstanding writing for a variety series.

The story of the Colbert treadmill actually is four years old. In 2009, the comedian launched a campaign to have NASA name its Node 3 module extension to the space station after him, and "Colbert" received about one-fifth of the 1.1 million submissions in NASA's contest. The module eventually was named Tranquility, but NASA came up with a compromise and named its treadmill on the space station the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (C.O.L.B.E.R.T.).

On Sunday, astronaut Karen Nyberg posted a video on her Twitter account of how astronauts run on the C.O.L.B.E.R.T. in the space station's gym, whose membership rates I'd imagine are, ahem, out of this world. According to the YouTube video description, "Station crew members exercise for at least two hours every day to keep fit and to prevent the loss of muscle mass and bone density that occurs during long-duration spaceflight."

Far out.

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