US election 2020: NASA astronauts on SpaceX's Crew Dragon will vote from space

WION Web Team
Washington, United StatesUpdated: Sep 30, 2020, 11:18 AM IST

From left, Mission Specialist Shannon Walker, Pilot Victor Glover, Crew Dragon Commander Michael Hopkins, all NASA astronauts, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut and Mission Specialist Soichi Noguchi are seated in SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft during crew equipment interface training. (Image:NASA/SpaceX) (Image:NASA/SpaceX) Photograph:(Others)

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SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Resilience capsule will carry NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker to the space station October 31

Three NASA astronauts on SpaceX's first operational Crew Dragon mission will vote from space in the US election 2020 to be held on November 3.

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Resilience capsule will carry NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi to the space station October 31 as the company’s first non-test mission after completing a successful two-man preliminary mission last summer.

“All of us are planning on voting from space,” Walker told a news conference, explaining that the three US astronauts will fill out an electronic PDF file aboard the station some 250 miles above Earth and email it to elections officials.

The crew’s more than six month mission in space, enabled by SpaceX’s new gumdrop-shaped Crew Dragon space capsule, comes as NASA regains its capability of sending astronauts to space after nearly a decade-long dependence on Russia’s Soyuz vehicles.

Meanwhile, another American astronaut Kate Rubins will also vote from space as she is a part of the launch of the Russian Soyuz that will take place on October 14 from the International Space Staion.

Following tradition from SpaceX’s last crewed mission named “Endeavor,” which ended in August with a successful splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico, Hopkins said the crew chose the name “Resilience” as a tribute to a “challenging” 2020.

“I think all of us can agree that 2020 has certainly been a challenging year,” Hopkins said, adding that SpaceX and NASA have pressed on with launch plans despite a slew of events like the “global pandemic, economic hardships, civil unrest, isolation” that have punctuated this year.

SpaceX made a few tweaks to Crew Dragon’s heat shield and altitude sensors after analyzing data from the summer test flight carrying NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, the company’s Crew Dragon chief Benji Reed said during a separate press conference on Tuesday.