Astronauts of NASA are planning on casting their votes from space in the upcoming presidential elections. This will not be the first time astronauts casting their ballots from the orbit as it has been a continuing tradition. Kate Rubins is slated to be the first astronaut to arrive at the International Space Station ahead of the US elections.
NASA astronaut Kate Rubins is all set to cast her vote while floating in space 250 miles (400 kilometers) above Earth, according to reports. Although Rubins is reportedly going to fly to the International Space Station on October 14, which is just a few weeks before the commencement of the U.S. presidential election on November 3, 2020, when she casts her vote.
Many NASA astronauts including Kate Rubins had already voted in space in the previous elections. Three other American astronauts will later join Kate Rubins onboard SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, which will be launched on a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker from NASA and Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) the astronauts, who will be on the spacecraft. Rubins will also be joining the Russian astronauts onboard Soyuz capsule, which is scheduled be to be launched on October 14.
"I think it's really important for everybody to vote," said Kate Rubins during an interview with the Associated Press. She further said, "If we can do it from space, then I believe folks can do it from the ground, too."
Voting from space isn't an alien process. NASA has maintained a continuous presence on the ISS and astronauts have been able to cast their ballots for years now. During a media interview, Shannon Walker said that all of them are planning to vote from space with the help of NASA as it has the experience with helping astronauts vote from the orbit. In 2010, Kate Rubins has voted from space during her first trip to ISS. She said, "It's critical to participate in our democracy," adding that voting from space is an honor for them.
How To Vote From Space?
"They basically send you an electronic file, it's a PDF, and you mark your choices. And then you email it back to...the person who's in charge of the election for the county [you vote in]. And so then that gets counted into all the ballots that are brought back. It's very simple, very straightforward," Rubins said to the reporters during an interview.
On Wednesday, both Donald Trump and Joe Biden presented a spectacle debate just 35 days ahead of the upcoming Presidential polls this year. The first round of debate pitting Republican President Donald Trump against his Democratic rival Joe Biden was not a highlight of political oratory to many people overseas as both engaged in a verbal duel.