…And I thought my voting experience was inconvenient; I better shut up!
NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station have the option of voting in [today]’s presidential election from orbit, hundreds of miles above their nearest polling location.
Astronauts residing on the orbiting lab receive a digital version of their ballot, which is beamed up by Mission Control at the agency’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston. Filled-out ballots find their way back down to Earth along the same path.
“They send it back to Mission Control,” said NASA spokesman Jay Bolden of JSC. “It’s a secure ballot that is then sent directly to the voting authorities.”
This system was made possible by a 1997 bill passed by Texas legislators (nearly all NASA astronauts live in or around Houston). It was first used that same year by David Wolf, who happened to be aboard Russia’s Mir space station at the time.