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Voting from Space: How Astronauts Do It

NASA wanderer Shane Kimbrough is off a world during a moment, though he still had his contend in this year’s presidential election.

Kimbrough, commander of a stream Expedition 50 aboard a International Space Station (ISS), was means to opinion from circuit interjection to procedures put in place by Texas legislators in 1997. (Most NASA astronauts live in a Lone Star State; Johnson Space Center, a heart of NASA’s tellurian spaceflight program, is in Houston.) [Watch: How Astronauts Vote from Space]

The “voting routine starts a year before launch, when astronauts are means to name that elections (local/state/federal) that they wish to attend in while in space,” NASA officials wrote in a Tumblr post recently. “Then, 6 months before a election, astronauts are supposing with a customary form: a ‘Voter Registration and Absentee Ballot Request — Federal Post Card Application.'” 

When astronauts get their absentee ballots, their residence is listed as “low-Earth orbit,” pronounced Kate Rubins, who wrapped adult a scarcely four-month army aboard a space hire late final month. 

NASA wanderer Shane Kimbrough, graphic here moments after nearing during a International Space Station on Oct. 21, 2016, has expel his absentee list for a 2016 presidential choosing from space, according to NASA officials.
Credit: NASA

Mission Control during JSC beams a digital chronicle of these absentee ballots adult to ISS crewmembers, who fill them out and send them behind down. The ballots afterwards go directly from Mission Control to a voting authorities, JSC officials have said. 

Both Kimbrough and Rubins used this complement to opinion from a ISS this fall, NASA officials said.

NASA astronauts began voting from space in 1997, 3 years before people started vital and operative aboard a ISS. The initial American to expel his list from circuit was David Wolf, who did so while aboard a Russian space hire Mir, NASA officials have said.

In 2004, Leroy Chiao became a initial NASA wanderer to opinion from space in a presidential election. He was autocratic Expedition 10 aboard a ISS during a time.

“I consider it’s flattering amazing,” Rubins pronounced in late Oct during an interview for NASA’s weekly “Space to Ground” ISS update. “It’s really implausible that we’re means to opinion from adult here, and we consider it’s impossibly critical for us to opinion in all of a elections.”

Kimbrough now shares space on a ISS with cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrei Borisenko. The contingent will shortly be assimilated by NASA wanderer Peggy Whitson, cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy and European Space Agency wanderer Thomas Pesquet, who are scheduled to launch toward a orbiting lab on Nov. 17.

Follow Mike Wall on Twitter @michaeldwall and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook or Google+. Originally published on Space.com.

Article source: http://www.space.com/34643-how-nasa-astronauts-vote-from-space.html

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