NASA Astronaut Kate Rubins who is currently in the preparation of departing the planet with two cosmonauts for 6-month-stay at the International Space Station said she plans to vote from space for US Presidential elections 2020.
- Last Updated: September 30, 2020, 10:41 PM IST
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No, astronauts don’t have to queue up to vote. They can do so from their temporary home: space.
The race for the next US President is on. While Americans can vote in person or by mail, there is one US citizen who plans to cast her next vote from space miles above Earth.
NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, who is currently in the preparation of departing the planet with two cosmonauts for 6-month-stay at the International Space Station starting mid-October, recently told The Associated Press that she will not let her vote go in vain as she thinks it’s “critical” to participate in the democracy, adding that she considered it an honour to vote from space.
“I think its really important for everybody to vote, Rubins said. If we can do it from space, then I believe folks can do it from the ground, too,” Rubins told AP.
This isn’t the first time an astronaut has decided to cast their vote from space. Back in 2016, NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough cast his vote from ISS, 259 miles above Earth. While the first American to vote from space was David Wolf, who cast his ballot from the Russian space station Mir.
But how do US Astronauts vote from space?
US astronauts have been able to vote from space since 1997, under Texas law. Most astronauts live in the Houston area, home to NASA’s mission control and Johnson Space Center.
“The Harris County Clerk’s Office uploads a secure electronic ballot to NASA’s Johnson Space Center Mission Control Center. NASA astronauts, using specific credentials, access their ballot and cast their vote, which is delivered back to the county clerk’s office by email,” NASA informed CNN.
Meanwhile, the United States Presidential debate 2020 has become a major talking point on social media.
The face-off between Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden was fiery, to put it mildly, with the latter calling him a liar and telling him to “shut up” as the pair clashed in a bad-tempered start to their first televised debate. “The fact is that everything he is saying so far is simply a lie. I’m not here to call out his lies. Everybody knows he’s a liar,” Biden said. Tension was palpable from the opening minutes, with the pair interrupting each other repeatedly, leading Biden to lash out at one point: “Will you shut up, man!”
Trump and Biden did not shake hands or wear masks as they entered their first White House debate, adhering to protocols on social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.
(With inputs from AP and AFP)