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NASA astronaut Kate Rubins will vote from space this November

U.S. astronaut Kate Rubins smiles on as her space suit is tested at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome on July 7, 2016. She told the AP on Friday that she would be casting her vote from space for this November’s presidential election.

U.S. astronaut Kate Rubins smiles on as her area swimsuit is examined on the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome on July 7, 2016. She informed the AP on Friday that she can be casting her vote from area for this November’s presidential election.
Photograph: Vasily Maximov (Getty Photographs)

For this November’s presidential election, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins plans to solid her poll from the Worldwide Area Station, 200 miles above Earth, successfully obliterating each excuse within the guide for why us earthbound voters can’t make it out to the polls.

“If we will do it from area, then I imagine people can do it from the bottom too,” Rubins stated in an interview with the Associated Press on Friday.

“Is that even authorized?”, I hear you ask. And sure, it’s! However provided that you’re from Texas.

Given that the majority U.S. astronauts stay in Houston (the house of NASA’s Mission Management Heart), the state of Texas passed a law in 1997 establishing a process for them to vote from area ought to the event come up. It principally works like an extra-terrestrial mail-in poll: Mission Management sends the area station an encrypted electronic mail containing the poll, which is relayed again right down to the county clerk’s workplace after the astronaut fills it out. Rubins and her fellow astronaut Shane Kimbrough cast their votes from the ISS for the 2016 presidential election as effectively.

“I believe a variety of astronauts do that,” Rubins informed the outlet. “It’s essential to take part in our democracy. We take into account it an honor to have the ability to vote from area.”

Rubins is presently working with cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov in Star Metropolis, Russia to arrange for a launch in mid-October. After catching a journey on the Russian area car Soyuz (no SpaceX rocket this time round), they’ll keep aboard the ISS for six months. Rubins, who in 2016 turned the primary individual to sequence DNA in area, plans to “work on a cardiovascular experiment that builds on an investigation she accomplished throughout her first area mission,” in line with NASA. Whereas aboard the ISS, she and her crewmates will even rejoice the 20th anniversary of steady human presence on the area station.

So if individuals are discovering methods to vote once they’re not even on the planet, you’ll be able to work out a solution to get to the polls this November. That’s to not ignore America’s lengthy and sordid historical past of systemic voter suppression regarding folks of shade, and particularly Black voters, after all. However at the same time as we acknowledge that injustice, we will champion mail-in ballots, early voting, and the varied different strategies that state legislatures present so to make your voice heard this November if, like me, you’re unable or unwilling to set foot in a polling place.

Given the continued pandemic, me and my compromised immune system aren’t taking any possibilities with crowds this November, so I mailed in my poll in the present day. It was my first time not voting in individual, and actually it was fairly straightforward! You possibly can take a look at tips on how to do the identical in your state too utilizing this handy dandy guide.

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Alyse Stanley