Whenever we speak about astronauts, we know that they are extraordinary beings who love other planets a little more than their own. They are granted all the privileges by their space teams in the extra-terrestrial world which makes their life seem extremely normal.
But did you know that now astronauts vote from space as well? How Do Astronauts Vote from Space? Well, just imagine how exciting would it sound if you had the chance to vote for your preferred candidate right from the skies! So how does the entire process of voting from space work? Let’s dive straight in to find out more about it.
How do Astronauts Vote from Space?
The American Election System has made voting extremely simple and hassle-free for NASA astronauts which allows minimal error and technical difficulty for them. For all the aspiring voters in the skies, they are required to fill a Federal Postcard Application. On approval, the Space Center receives a test ballot and the astronauts will receive a personalised e-mail with details on how to vote from space.
The astronaut is required to fill an electronic absentee ballot from the Space Station which is connected to a Tracking and Data Relay Satellite. The votes transmitted through this satellite reach the ground antenna which is stationed at White Sands Complex in New Mexico.
From New Mexico, the votes are transferred to the Mission Control Center which is eventually transferred to the county clerk. The vote is encrypted and can only be accessed by the county clerk member and no one else.
However, if the astronaut is a Texas resident, he/she will be required to submit their votes before 7 PM local time. This is because of certain legislative policies designed by the American Election System. Despite all of that, this process ensures that astronauts vote from space in a simple yet secure manner.
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History Behind How Do Astronauts Vote from Space?
This astronomic feat of astronauts voting from space was made possible in 1997 when a bill was passed to make voting from space legal in Texas. Ever since that time period, there have been several NASA astronauts who have made use of these civic privileges right from the orbit of our planet.
Here’s a little bonus for you. Did you know that David Wolf was the first NASA astronaut to vote from space while he was aboard the Russian Space Station Mir in 1997? In case if you didn’t, you can thank us later for this valuable piece of information!
Which Astronaut(s) Voted from Space in this Election?
Considering the spicy nature of the 2020 American Presidential Elections, you would have expected a lot of astronauts vote from space. However, there was just one vote which landed straight from the Heavens and it was that of Astronaut Kate Rubins.
Kate Rubins decided to try something out of the box and created her own voting booth onboard the space station. She wrote ‘ISS Voting Booth’ on the door and shut it to ensure absolute privacy while casting her vote.
This isn’t Rubins’ first tryst with voting from space. She had cast her vote during the 2016 Presidential Elections as well. This makes her one of those rare citizens and astronauts vote from space.
To sum it up, the recent changes in legislation and the up-gradation in technology has made life easier for most astronauts to cast their votes. Though there are a few procedures to be followed, most of them are executed with ease, thereby answering how do astronauts vote from space.
So what excuse are you going to give now for not casting your vote? If they can do it from space, why not you?