The US will allow the NASA astronauts that will be leaving for the International Space Station to vote from the station in the upcoming presidential election. Michael Hopkins, Shannon Walker, and Victor Glover will be leaving for the space station aboard the Resilience spacecraft together with JAXA’s Soichi Noguchi in the Crew-1 mission. Part of their responsibilities will be voting in the next president for the US.
Walker stated that they are counting on being the next astronauts to vote from space. Although the astronauts come from different states, the US election body agreed to let them vote as US space residents to avoid the brawl of sending their votes to their respective counties for polling. Walker revealed that their motivation was Kate Rubins, who disclosed that she would be voting from space after arriving at the International Space Station tomorrow. Rubins will be arriving at the station together with other Russian cosmonauts via the Soyuz capsule.
Kate is an expert in voting from space because she also voted in the station’s previous election. She revealed that she was sent an electronic file to tick her presidential candidate and resent it to the presiding clerk at her county. Kate Rubins stated that she loved the simplicity of this voting method.
The NASA control center then sends the file to the authorities involved to count it as a vote for the candidate selected in the astronaut’s county. This move will not be the first for astronauts since those astronauts who have been living at the ISS have voted from the station countable times. The Crew-1 mission will mark two decades since the astronauts started making missions to the station. This mission will be the first for SpaceX and the US after the previous test mission by Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley from the US land.
The crew-1 mission will be a milestone for the US after it shut down, crewed launches more than a decade ago following a catastrophic accident. This mission cost over $2 billion, ranging from the design development to component assemblage. The success of the Demo-2 mission proved that this mission could proceed and gave insights on the areas that the engineers must adjust. Additionally, the mission revealed the systemic changes and upgrades that the technicians must consider to prevent the spacecraft’s malfunction while navigating to the International Space Station. To sum up, SpaceX joins Boeing as the company to send its capsule to the ISS. The two companies have proved their capacity to develop deployable spacecraft and send them to space.