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Four American astronauts plan to vote from space this year

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Up to four American astronauts plan to vote in the general election from orbit this year, continuing a long tradition of people casting their ballots from space.

The first astronaut slated to arrive at the ISS ahead of the election is Kate Rubins, who is launching on a Russian Soyuz rocket on October 14th along with two Russian cosmonauts. Rubins told the Associated Press she plans to cast her ballot while in orbit. “I think it’s really important for everybody to vote,” Rubins told the AP. “If we can do it from space, then I believe folks can do it from the ground, too.”

She’ll then be joined by three more American astronauts — Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker — who will be on the second flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon on October 31st, along with Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi. They also plan to vote from orbit.

“All of us are planning on voting from space,” Walker said during a press conference. “NASA works very well with the different election organizations, because we’re all voting in different counties. But it was easiest for us just to say we were going to vote from space, so that’s what we’re going to do.” Walker actually has voted from orbit before, during her first trip to the International Space Station in 2010.

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins in her flight suit ahead of launch.
Image: NASA

Casting a ballot from space is a fairly straightforward process. NASA has maintained a continuous human presence on the International Space Station for the last 20 years, so the agency has a lot of experience with helping astronauts vote. Before flying, NASA astronauts fill out a Federal Post Card Application, which is the same form members of the military use for absentee voting while deployed.

Once that’s approved, the county clerks who oversee elections within each of the astronauts’ home counties send test ballots to NASA, which are secure PDFs. The agency then tests out if the ballots can be filled out from space, using a training computer. If that works, then NASA’s Mission Control Center emails the astronauts their ballots on Election Day; the astronauts select the candidates they want and then email it back to NASA, which then sends the ballots to the various county clerks’ offices.

Of course, voting while in space is contingent on the astronauts being in space, and launches are prone to delays. But as of now, all four Americans could be off-world for what has shaped up to be a contentious election during a contentious year. As a nod to how rough this year has been, the astronauts flying with SpaceX’s Crew Dragon even named their vehicle Resilience.

“That means functioning well in times of stress or overcoming adverse events,” Hopkins said about the name. “I think all of us can agree that 2020 has certainly been a challenging year: a global pandemic, economic hardships, civil unrest, isolation.”

And now there is an election to top it all off. But at least four Americans will get to be as far away from it as they can possibly be.

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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