Andre Shalepin / AP
On election day, NASA astronaut Kate Rubin will be more than 200 miles from her nearest polling station. But she is still planning to vote – from space.
“It’s important to participate in our democracy,” Rubinz said Told Associated Press. “We consider it an honor to be able to vote from space.”
Rubin, Who has a doctorate in cancer biology from Stanford and was the first person to do a DNA scene in space, is currently training for his next six-month mission to the International Space Station.
Voting from the space station is the same as abstaining from voting anywhere on Earth – except instead US Postal Service To deliver the ballot, Rubin will be electronically forwarded from Mission Control in Houston.
Using the set of unique credentials sent to each of them by e-mail, “SmallSonian National Air and Space Muse Zim,” astronauts can access their ballots, cast their ballots and return them to Earth. Can add. ” Explained In 2018.
The ballot is then sent to the county clerk for tabulation.
U.S. astronauts have been able to vote for more than two decades since a Texas lawmaker learned that astronauts John Bleha could not vote in the 1996 presidential race between President Bill Clinton and Bob Dole. . At the time, Balaha was serving on Russia’s Mir space station, a precursor to the ISS.
“Republican Sen. Mike Jackson,” he said, adding that he was “disappointed” not to be able to do so. Told NPR’s Neil Greenfieldboys in 2008.
Voting from space has never been a real issue before, as NASA astronauts have not spent more than two weeks on shuttle missions. But with the advent of the space station, the Americans have been on missions for months at a time.
So a new law was born. “I can attest to how important one person’s vote is, because in my first election, I won by seven votes out of over 26,000,” Jackson said.
Texas lawmakers Approved the measure in 1997, And then-government. George W. Bush signed it into law. That same year, astronaut David Wolf “became the first AmericanVote as you walk“It simply came to our notice then.
“I voted alone in space, very alone, the only English speaker there, and it felt good to have an English ballot from the United States.” Atlantic “It made me feel close to the earth and like the people of the earth really cared about me there.”
Most NASA astronauts live in Houston, so since the Texas law was passed, many astronauts have been able to vote from above. This is not the first time Rubinz has used his biblical facility; He also voted from the space station in the 2016 presidential election – listing his address as a “low earth cycle”.
“I think voting is really important for everyone,” Rubins said. “If we can do it from space, I believe people can do it from Earth.”