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Late-night host Stephen Colbert strikes an astronautical pose. (Boeing via Twitter)

Let history record that America’s first late-night astronaut is … Stephen Colbert?

In a pre-recorded bit that was broadcast Friday night on CBS’ “Late Show,” Colbert wore the spacesuit designed for crews on Boeing’s Starliner space taxi and did his shtick at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with Boeing’s Chris Ferguson as straight man.

“How does it feel to be the first honorary Starliner astronaut?” Colbert asks in one clip. “I’ve made it. This is what all of this comedy work has been leading up to: wearing a very tight jumpsuit with a really big inflatable butt on it.”

Even United Launch Alliance did a double-take over Colbert’s fling with Starliner fame. “Wait. What?” ULA, the joint venture formed by Boeing and Lockheed Martin, said in a tweet.

Maybe it shouldn’t be surprising that Colbert occasionally wants to scratch a spaceflight itch. He’s arguably the only comedian to have a piece of space hardware named after him: the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill, or COLBERT.

In his honor, the name on Boeing’s StarlinerOne test vehicle was changed, at least temporarily, to ColbertOne.

Boeing is developing the CST-100 Starliner for NASA’s use, to carry up to seven astronauts to and from the International Space Station. If all proceeds according to schedule, the Starliner will start flying astronauts in 2018 (or maybe 2019).

Meanwhile, SpaceX is adapting its Dragon cargo spaceship to carry crew, on roughly the same timeline. Will Colbert pay a visit to SpaceX as well? And if so, what color of spacesuit will he model? Stay tuned … and in the meantime, enjoy these tweets.

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