U.S Elections: American Astronaut Casts Vote While Afloat

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The only American Astronaut currently in space, Shane Kimbrough has managed to cast his ballot while floating 250 miles above Earth.

Kimbrough who has been orbiting earth on the International Space Station Since October has kept up with NASA’s motto of “Vote while you float.”

On Monday, NASA confirmed that Kimbrough had successfully voted via a “secure electronic ballot” sent from the County Clerk’s office directly to Mission Control and then on to the International Space Station where the astronaut has resided since late October.

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Before he left Earth and launched on a four-month mission, Kimbrough said it was going to be special, being able to say “I voted from space.” He had predetermined which elections he wanted to vote in while still on Earth.



Speaking to reporters last month before he left, Kimbrough said Astronauts are “pretty much apolitical…, and I’ll be glad to welcome the new president, whoever that is.” By the time he’s back on Earth in February, America will have a new commander in chief.

Kimbrough is sharing the space station with two Russians. The crew will double in size at the end of next week, adding another American, a Russian and a Frenchman.

Kimbrough is not the only American to have voted from space during this election. Astronaut Kate Rubins headed to the electronic polls early, voting from space before heading back to Earth on October 30.

Astronauts are allowed to vote from space, thanks to a 1997 bill, passed by Texas, which established a technical voting procedure for astronauts. Unlike voters on Earth, the voting process starts a year before launch, giving astronauts the ability to choose which elections they want to participate in while in space.

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NASA reveals that six months before the election, astronauts are given a standard “Voter Registration and Absentee Ballot Request — Federal Post Card Application.” The first astronaut to vote from space was David Wolf in 1997, who voted while living on the Russian Mir Space Station.