Washington: As US gets ready for a nail-biting election on Tuesday, two American astronauts orbiting the Earth at 17,000 miles per hour have already cast their votes from space.
According to NASA, astronaut Shane Kimbrough has officially filed his electronic absentee ballot from the International Space Station (ISS).
Another astronaut Kate Rubins cast her ballot before returning to Earth last week.
Thanks to a bill passed by Texas legislatures in 1997 that put in place technical voting procedure for astronauts, the two astronauts – residents of Houston where the Johnson Space Centre is located a. voted while in orbit.
For astronauts, the voting process starts a year before launch when they are able to select which elections (local/state/federal) that they want to participate in while in space.
Then, six months before the election, astronauts are provided with a standard form: the “Voter Registration and Absentee Ballot Request – Federal Post Card Application”, the US space agency said in a statement.
“Space voting” was first used the same year it was implemented in 1997.
NASA astronaut David Wolf became the first American to vote in space while on the Russian Mir Space Station.
Current space station resident astronaut Shane Kimbrough is the most recent astronaut to take advantage of the opportunity.
While astronauts do not have to wait in line for his ballot like the rest of us, there is one disadvantage to voting in space: they miss out on the highly coveted “I Voted” sticker!
First Published | 8 November 2016 11:13 AM