Andre Shelepin / AP
On election day, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins will be more than 200 miles above her nearest polling station. But she still plans to vote – out of space.
“Participating in our democracy is crucial,” Rubins said Said Associated Press. “We consider it an honor to be able to vote from space.”
RubinsHe holds a doctorate in cancer biology from Stanford and is the first person to process DNA in space, and is currently training for the upcoming six – month mission to the International Space Station.
Voting from the space station is the same as voting for those who are absent from anywhere on the planet – instead of relying on US Postal Service To hand over the ballot, Rubins will be electronically transferred from Mission Control in Houston.
“With unique credentials sent to everyone via e-mail, astronauts can access their ballots, register to vote and link back down to Earth,” said the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Explained In 2018.
The ballot is sent to the county clerk for tabulation.
American Bill astronauts have been able to record the ballot from the top for more than two decades, since the Texas legislature learned that astronaut John Blah could not vote in the 1996 presidential race between President Bill Clinton and Bob Doll. At the time, Blaha was serving on the Mir space station in Russia, the predecessor of the ISS.
“He was a little disappointed he could not do it,” said Republican Sen. Mike Jackson Said NPR’s Nell Greenfield Boys in 2008.
Voting from space has never been an issue before, as NASA astronauts usually do not spend more than two weeks on shuttle missions. But with the arrival of the space station, the Americans were sometimes on a mission for months at a time.
Thus a new law was born. “I can testify to how important one’s vote is, because I won my first election by seven votes out of 26,000,” Jackson said.
Texas legislators The measure was approved in 1997, Then-Govt. George W.. Bush signed it into law. That same year, astronaut David Wolf became the first American.Vote when you rise, “As NASA said on the cheek.
“I voted alone in space. Alone, the only English speaker there. It’s great to have an English ballot, something from America,” Wolf said. Atlantic In 2016. “It brought me closer to the earth and the people on earth listened to me there.”
Most NASA astronauts live in Houston, so after the passage of Texas law, many astronauts were able to record ballots from above. This is not the first time Rubins has used her orbital position; She voted from the space station in the 2016 presidential election – her address was listed as “low orbit”.
“I think it’s important for everyone to vote,” Rubins said. “If we can do it from space, I believe people can do it from Earth.”