November 2nd, 2010
06:46 PM ET
12 years ago

Astronauts beam votes home

(CNN) - Three Americans have cast their ballots from the most remote polling station in the solar system - the International Space Station, soaring 220 miles above the earth.

Navy Capt. Scott Kelly, U.S. Army Col. Douglas Wheelock and physicist Shannon Walker used a special "secure line" to the Johnson Space Center, which relayed the votes to the astronauts' respective home counties.

"It's an honor and a privilege to exercise our right as U.S. citizens to vote from the International Space Station," said Kelly, who said he voted on Sunday.

David Wolf was the firm American to cast a ballot from space. He voted from the Russian space station Mir in 1997.

As Americans across the U.S. head to the polls this election day, citizens flying high above the U.S. fulfilled their civic duties as well.

Despite soaring 242 miles above the earth, the three American astronauts on board the International Space Station have already officially cast their ballots for the midterm elections. Scott Kelly voted Sunday, and Douglas Wheelock and Shannon Walker also voted from space.

Filed under: 2010
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Jan

    "David Wolf was the firm American to cast a ballot from space." How many squishy ones came before him?

    November 2, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  2. Rick Walker

    Some states had trouble getting ballots to our troops in harms way, yet we can make every effort for Astronauts to from the International Space Station...why don't we give our troops the ability to "Beam their Votes" back?

    November 2, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  3. SG

    @Rick Walker: Probably because there were 3 astronauts, and 250,000 service men and women. While it would be great if there were a better way for our deployed military to cast ballots, it seems a little more difficult to have 250k people make telephone calls to vote. If each call took 5 minutes (which doesn't seem possible since they will need to know WHAT they are voting for), it would take over 800 days for all of the votes to come through if there was only one hotline.

    November 2, 2010 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  4. Joseph

    Well, Rick, we're talking about the votes of a few people versus the votes of thousands. There's also a difference in the group handling things; NASA is civilian, the military isn't.

    November 2, 2010 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  5. Brock

    The space station must be moving FAST! It gained 22 miles in 6 paragraphs!

    November 2, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |