Along with Americans in the US, NASA astronauts in space too cast their votes for the highly tumultuous US Presidential elections. American space agency NASA informed that its astronaut Kathleen Rubins, or Kate Rubins cast her vote from the International Space Station, which is 250 miles from Earth's surface.
Rubin voted on October 23. In a video uploaded by Nasa, Rubins said: "I think it's really important for everybody to vote...And if we can do it from space, then I believe folks can do it from the ground, too."
How did Rubin vote from space?
According to NASA, Rubins' ballot - like most data transmitted between the space station and mission control - traversed through NASA's Space Network. After Rubins filled out her specially designed, electronic absentee ballot aboard the orbiting laboratory, the document flowed through a Tracking and Data Relay Satellite to a ground antenna in New Mexico.
From New Mexico, NASA transferred the ballot to the Mission Control Centre in Houston and then on to the county clerk responsible for casting the ballot. The ballot is encrypted and only accessible by the astronaut and the clerk to preserve the vote's integrity.
This was not the first time Rubin cast her vote from space, she had also voted from the International Space Station during the 2016 elections.
Kate Rubins, along with her Russian crewmates Sergey Kud-Sverchkov and Sergey Ryzhikov of Roscosmos, is on a six-month-long mission that was launched on October 14. They will research "the use of laser-cooled atoms for future quantum sensors" and conduct cardiovascular experiments from the space station, Nasa said.
It has been more than twenty years when NASA astronauts got permission to vote from space. In 1997, the Texas Legislature passed a bill that allowed NASA astronauts to vote from space. That year, NASA astronaut David Wolf became the first American to vote from space on the Mir Space Station.
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