Find out how astronauts cast their vote while in space.
Did you know that Astronauts hundreds of miles from the Earth’s surface and the nearest polling location are able to cast their vote in the Presidential election?
United States citizens situated on the International Space Station are sent a digital version of their ballot which is beamed up to them from from NASA’s Mission Control at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
As a NASA spokesperson explains, “"They send it back to Mission Control. It's a secure ballot that is then sent directly to the voting authorities."
The method of voting from outer space was first put into operation by astronaut David Wolf who cast his vote in 1997 in a local election while posted on Russia's Mir space station.
Leroy Chiao was the first American astronaut to vote in a Presidential election during the 2004 campaign while commanding the International Space Station Expedition 10.
Currently, two Americans are stationed on the ISS, commander Sunita Williams and flight engineer Kevin Ford. They won’t be using the digital voting system this time around as both submitted their absentee ballots prior to launching into space earlier this year.