Astronaut Votes In French Election From International Space Station

Posted: May 8 2017, 1:02pm CDT | by , Updated: May 8 2017, 10:53pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

 
Astronaut Votes in French Election from International Space Station
Credit: European Space Agency

French astronaut Thomas Pesquet casts his vote from space!

Someone has found a way to vote - even from space.

Thomas Pesquet, an ESA astronaut, currently serving on the International Space Station, cast his ballot for the first and second round of French elections on April 23 and May 7, respectively. Thanks to a colleague, the astronaut was able to take part in elections while staying hundreds of miles above the Earth’s surface. He gave power of attorney to his colleague for voting.

“It was a bit complicated because I live abroad, but the people from the consulate were really nice so I was able to arrange for a French colleague to vote for me.” Pesquet said in a statement.

The 39-year old Thomas Pesquet is the youngest ESA astronaut to go for a mission on ISS. He has been onboard the orbiting lab since November 2016 and has also performed extravehicular activity (EVA). EVA done outside the space station is necessary for the maintenance of the spacecraft. During the spacewalk, he upgraded the ISS batteries. Pesquet is scheduled to complete one more EVA with veteran astronaut Peggy Whitson in April.

Pesquet is not the first astronaut to vote in an election from space. Earlier NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough voted in 2016 US presidential election while staying in the orbit. Pesquet is the latest to join in a long tradition of voting while floating above the Earth, inside the orbiting International Space Station. With this gesture, Pesquet just wants people to remind of the importance of doing their civic duty and voting.

“I've done a proxy, it's important, I think we have to vote.” Pesquet said.

The astronaut will return to earth at the end of May, after completing a six month mission at the space station.

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