A lone astronaut with NASA at the International Space Station has cast her vote for the next U.S. president. Astronaut Kate Rubins revealed she voted in a recent social media post.
In the post, Rubins smiled and pointed to a makeshift voter’s booth aboard the station. The post’s caption read, “From the International Space Station: I voted today.”
NASA Has Had An Absentee Ballot Since 1997
Since 1997, Texas has allowed astronauts to vote from beyond the stars. According to Space.com, astronauts select which elections they would like to participate in before launch. Astronauts fill out a digital absentee ballot. NASA sends them the ballot to vote then delivers the ballot to the state’s election authorities. The address listed for the ballot is “low Earth orbit.”
Currently, Rubins is the only American about the International Space Station. She made her journey into orbit on Oct. 14, along with two Russian cosmonauts. She will remain at the space station for around six and a half months.
This wasn’t Rubins’ first time aboard the station. In 2009, NASA selected Rubin for an expedition to the station, which launched in 2016. She stayed in space for 115 days during that trip and returned to Earth on Oct. 30, 2016. While in space, Rubin completed two spacewalks and also became the first person to sequence DNA in outer-space.
According to the organization, the achievement was an important breakthrough in protecting an astronaut’s health and also making future discoveries. Rubins has a background in molecular biology.
In addition to Rubins, three other NASA astronauts had planned to vote from space. They were scheduled to fly on the Crew-1 mission with the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule. Their launch had been scheduled for Oct. 31. But it has since been delayed to mid-November, according to Space.com.