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A space treadmill named Colbert

September 01, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Astronauts hitched a giant chest of drawers containing a freezer, a sleeping compartment and a treadmill named for a TV satirist to the International Space Station.

The Italian-built chest -- nicknamed Leonardo -- was moved from space shuttle Discovery to the station via a hefty robot arm.

NASA's $5-million treadmill is officially called the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill, or COLBERT for short.

Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert ended up with an exercise machine named in his honor after he won an online vote for christening rights to a space station room. Unwilling to go with Colbert for the yet-to-be-launched room, NASA opted for the name Tranquility, to commemorate the Apollo 11 moon landing 40 years ago.

The treadmill was a consolation prize.

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