Astronaut Kate Rubins Just Voted From Space

A feel-good story about voting in 2020? You got it.

NASA

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NASA astronaut Kate Rubins didn’t let a pesky thing like space travel stop her from casting a ballot in this year’s hotly contested election. Instead, she cast her ballot from space.

The agency apparently has a “vote as you float” policy for its astronauts, which enabled Rubin to vote while on her mission. In this case, Rubins went into a makeshift voting booth in the International Space Station and submitted a specialized electronic ballot.

The process itself is fairly complex. Astronauts have to signal before they leave Earth for their missions if they intend to vote or not, and then the county clerk from their home district sends a test to NASA’s Johnson Space Center to make sure the process is working. After that, a secure ballot is sent to the astronaut via email. 

Millions of Americans have voted early, and many more are braving the pandemic to vote in person. Election day is November 3.

 

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Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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