NASA astronaut votes for president from 250 miles above Earth

Not even being 250 miles above the Earth's surface could stop American astronaut Shane Kimbrough from putting in his vote for the next president of the United States.

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NASA said Monday that Kimbrough cast his ballot while orbiting Earth at 17,000 miles per hour on the International Space Station. He has been on the space station since last month as part of a four-month-long mission.

At a news conference before he made the journey from Earth to space, Kimbrough said astronauts are "pretty much apolitical."

"I'm going to come home regardless of who's the president and I'll be glad to welcome the new president, whoever that is," he said.

The NASA astronaut said he was excited to put in his ballot.

"That's going to be a special thing for me, to always say that I voted from space," he said.

The voting process starts a year before American astronauts launch into space, when they choose whether or not to vote in local, state and federal elections. Six months before the election date, astronauts get the standard absentee ballot to fill in.

NASA astronaut David Wolf was the first American to vote from space after Texas passed a law in 1997 that put into place procedures to allow the Americans orbiting the Earth to cast their ballots. Nearly all of the American astronauts live in Texas, according to NASA.

Kimbrough is sharing the space station with two Russians. The crew will double in size at the end of next week, adding another American, a Russian and a Frenchman.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.