The world’s first ever “protest in space” targeted Donald Trump and was carried out 90,000 ft in the stratosphere by the Autonomous Space Agency Network (ASAN).
ASAN’s mission is to promote open-sourced, DIY space exploration, free from corporate and military influence. The group’s website states ASAN has been working on space exploration programs and the logistics of this mission for six months.
According to The Hill, ASAN’s plan was to send a weather balloon into orbit with an anti-Trump tweet clinging to the structure. The action itself deployed a weather balloon into the atmosphere with a direct message to the president:
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO SEND A TWEET TO SPACE?
2 Helium tanks: 300
160 cu.ft of helium: 160
Total: $750 pic.twitter.com/FyzWucDGX2
— ASAN (@ASANspace) April 13, 2017
The team printed out a huge copy of a tweet from their Twitter account, and used the @realDonaldTrump’s Twitter handle, which is President Trump’s verified personal account. ASAN’s inspiration for the tweet originated from the words of Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell:
“From out there on the Moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch.”
Although, technically the weather balloon would have had to have risen 330,000 feet above the Earth’s surface to be considered in outer space, what is certain is that Trump’s recent policy proposals in the area of science has placed in him in ASAN’s sights. The scientists behind the mission say the reason for their action was to stand in solidarity with the scientific community. Scientists across America are planning a march on Washington, DC to protest the Trump administration’s disregard for science, particularly his denial of climate science.
The Scientists’ March on Washington takes place on Saturday, April 22 (Earth Day).
Steven E. Johnson is a Mississippi-based author who covers racial justice and political issues for the Resistance Report. You can contact him at stevejlive at gmail dot com.