NASA astronaut votes from space bunk for Election Day 2022
At least one election vote this year came from out of this world.
NASA astronaut Josh Cassada zipped up his sleeve International Space Station (ISS) bunk, creating a custom voting booth to vote in the US midterms of room Tuesday (November 8).
“I’ve voted all my adult life, but this year’s voting booth certainly takes the cake,” Cassada, a United States Navy captain, joked in a statement. tweet (opens in new tab) showing off the closed bunk bed. “I am so grateful to everyone – especially democracy – for continuing to be a part of this vital process this year.”
Cassada and the other American astronauts currently aboard the complex will be allowed to vote in their absence. The process involves the astronaut having a Federal Postcard Application (opens in new tab) vote for the launch. (It’s similar to a ballot paper used by other U.S. citizens, but aimed at populations living abroad or, in Cassada’s case, in outer space.)
Related: Elections 2022: How astronauts vote from space
The other eligible U.S. voters under Expedition 68 are Kjell Lindgren (an American born in Taiwan), Loral O’Hara, Bob Hines, Jessica Watkins (the first black female on a long-haul flight), Nicole Mann (the first Native American woman in space) and Frank Rubio (the first Salvadoran-American in space).
“I can’t confirm if the people on board will vote — that has to come from them,” Dan Huot, NASA’s public affairs leader for the ISS, told Space.com when asked if the others were planning to. However, Huot confirmed that the absentee voting process previously used by NASA astronaut Kate Rubin in 2020 is identical to what is possible in 2022.
I’ve voted all my adult life, but this year’s voting booth takes the cake. I am so grateful to everyone – especially Democracy – for allowing me to continue to be a part of this vital process this year. pic.twitter.com/l9r83wxoxjNov 8, 2022
NASA has been a major item on the political agenda in recent months. US President Joe Biden confirmed the agency’s commitment to remain on the ISS until 2030 with the passage of the CHIPS law this summer. NASA’s 2023 budget received a Request of $23 Billion from the White House, along with a pledge to put astronauts on Mars by 2040.
The ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine However, which began in February, has torn apart most space partnerships except the ISS, setting the stage for exciting international moments. A recent example was Russia’s threats that it fire on US commercial satellites looking at Ukraine from orbit, prompting a response from the White House.
Government-funded military space has also been quite active in recent years with the creation of a new United States space power unit promise to provide “critical intelligence on threat systems, foreign intent and activities in the space domain.”
Elizabeth Howell is the co-author of “Why am I taller? (opens in new tab)?” (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), a book on space medicine. Follow her on Twitter @howellspace (opens in new tab). follow us on twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or facebook (opens in new tab).
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