NASA astronaut Kate Rubins votes from the ISS: “If we can...

This story is part of 2020 elections, CNET’s coverage of the November vote preparations.

Whichever way you cast your vote, you must admire this NASA astronaut who managed to cast her vote from space. Kate Rubins, currently on duty aboard the International Space Station, posted a photo of herself in front of a padded booth labeled “ISS Voting Booth” with the text “From the International Space Station: I voted today”.

NASA notes that this is not Rubins’ first vote from space. She did this in 2016 when she was also on the ISS.

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“I think it’s really important that everyone votes,” said Rubins in a video uploaded by NASA. “And if we can get it out of space, then I believe people can do it from the ground too.” Rubins’ six-month ISS mission began on October 14, which was also her 42nd birthday.

Most astronauts choose the Texas resident election because they move to Houston to train. However, NASA said those wishing to vote as residents of their home state can take special precautions.

Ballot papers from the district in which the astronaut is registered are tested on a training computer at the space station. The actual voting slip is then generated and forwarded to the ISS with the log-in information specific to the crew in order to ensure safety. The completed voting slip is electronically returned to Earth for official return.

“Voting in space has been possible since 1997, when a law was passed that allowed legal voting in space in Texas,” NASA said in a statement. “Since then, several NASA astronauts have performed this civic duty from orbit. As NASA works towards sending astronauts to the moon and eventually Mars in 2024, the agency plans to continue to ensure that astronauts who want to vote in space are able no matter where in the solar system they may be. ”

NASA had expected the U.S. astronauts to vote with Rubins from space on the SpaceX Crew 1 mission to the ISS, but their mission has been postponed until early to mid-November so they can now vote from Earth.


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