About 250 miles above Earth, orbiting the planet at a speed of 17,500 miles per hour from the International Space Station, American astronaut Kathleen Rubin cast her vote in the election, which was attended by millions of others across the country who voted early.
“If we can do it from space, I believe people can do it from the ground,” he said in a video posted on NASA’s website.
An astronaut and marine biologist, Ms. Rubins, who goes through Kate, was the first person to receive a DNA sequence in space during a 2016 mission. On her current mission, she is conducting experiments related to the cardiovascular system.
As it turned out, Ms. Rubins would have had an easier time voting from space than he would have been back on Earth.
In New York, where voting began early Saturday, thousands of voters waited hours to cast their ballots, including line lengths for blocks outside polling stations. Similar scenes have been seen in other states.
With election day still eight days away, more than 59 million Americans have already cast their ballots, surpassing the record set for early 2016.
Astronauts have been voting from space since 1997, when Texas legislators set up a technical process that would allow them to vote. Many astronauts prefer to register in Texas, as they train at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Ms. Rubins left the queues, but had to take some extra steps to vote from space. First, before its rocket launch, it signaled its intention to run in the election by filling out a federal postcard application, the same form that is completed by military members serving outside the US, NASA said in a post on its website.
The next step, like most NASA items, involves a trial run. The county clerk sent a test ballot to a team at the Houston Space Center, where officials checked to see if they could fill out the ballot and send it back.
After testing, the Space Center’s Mission Control Center designed Mrs. Rubins’ ballot. From space, he cast his vote, which the officers attached below and delivered back to the county clerk’s office fee by email.
Mr. Rubins’ vote, cast last week, arrived well before the 7 a.m. election deadline for astronauts.