NASA astronaut looks to six-month ISS mission, voting from space

Space Science

MYSTERY WIRE — NASA astronaut Kate Rubins is set to journey to the International Space Station (ISS) Wednesday (October 14), accompanied by two Russian cosmonauts.

Rubins has lots planned for her six-month ISS stay, including casting her vote from space.

Rubins – along with Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov – are set to travel to the International Space Station (ISS) Wednesday (October 14).

They’ll travel onboard a Soyuz space capsule from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Last month, Rubins told The Associated Press that she plans to cast her vote for the upcoming U.S Presidential Election from space – more than 200 miles above Earth.

Most U.S. astronauts live in Houston. Texas law allows them to vote from space using a secure electronic ballot.

Mission Control forwards the ballot to the space station and relays the completed ballot back to the county clerk.

“It’s critical to participate in our democracy, we consider it an honour to be able to vote from space,” says Rubins.

“And so, we fill out a form and we vote via absentee ballot, and I plan on doing that in November.”

While onboard the ISS, Rubins, the first person to sequence DNA in space, plans to work on a cardiovascular experiment and conduct research using the space station’s Cold Atom Lab.

Earlier this month, a space station cargo ship rocketed into orbit carrying radish seeds for growing.

Researchers are hoping for 40 radishes from the seeds going up, within a month.

“The more access we have to space and to microgravity, the more folks can get done in terms of science and research and what they’re looking at,” says Rubins.

Rubins will celebrate the 20th anniversary of continuous human presence on the space station.

She’ll also welcome the crew of the second SpaceX commercial crew mission, expected to arrive in late October.

“It’s just an incredible engineering and a scientific marvel, the fact that we have this huge, man-made object in orbit around the Earth and it’s still going after 20 years,” says Rubins.

Before launch, Rubins says she and her Russian crew mates managed to spot the space station orbiting by above them – a valuable moment of reflection, she says.

“It’s incredibly inspiring just to stop what’s going on and think about space exploration and think about the future for a little bit,” she says.

Rubins and her crew mates are set to journey to the International Space Station Wednesday (October 14th 2020).  

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