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World news – Embassy 12 – October 2008

Rocket men to vote from space

For two US citizens, voting in the elections will be an out of this world experience. Astronauts Edward Michael Fincke and Greg Chamitoff will be casting their ballots from the International Space Station, 350km above Earth and orbiting at 28,000 kms per hour.

A 1997 bill passed by Texas legislators sets up a technical procedure for astronauts – nearly all of whom live in Houston – to vote from space via a secure electronic ballot.

To encourage others to exercise their civic duty, Fincke and Chamitoff sent a special message to Earth: “If we can do it, so can you,” they said, ending their message with a zero-gravity flip.

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Leroy Chiao cast his vote in space in the 2004 elections
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