Space Station Gets Colbert Treadmill

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 31, 2009 8:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – Astronauts hitched a giant chest of drawers to the International Space Station today containing a new freezer, sleeping compartment, and treadmill named for TV personality Stephen Colbert. The Italian-built chest—nicknamed Leonardo, as in da Vinci—was moved from space shuttle Discovery via a hefty robot arm and hoisted onto the space station.

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It's loaded with nearly 8 tons of equipment and science experiments for the outpost and its six residents. Much of the gear is stored in portable racks; the bedroom is the size of a phone booth. Leonardo will remain secured to the space station for the next week. The astronauts will remove the cylindrical vessel—21 feet long and 15 feet in diameter—and place it back on space shuttle Discovery for return to Earth. By that time, it will be loaded with trash and unneeded items. (Read more International Space Station stories.)

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