President Donald Trump and his policies have sparked worldwide marches, seemingly round-the-clock demonstrations, and a fierce popular resistance movement, and now, it seems, the "first protest in space."
The citizen-led space exploration group, the Autonomous Space Agency Network (ASAN), this week launched a weather balloon carrying an image of tweet directed at Trump. It says, in all capital letters: "LOOK AT THAT, YOU SON OF A BITCH."
It is a reference to the late NASA astronaut Edgar Mitchell, who once said that when you view the Earth from space, you develop a "global consciousness...an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it."
"From out there on the Moon, international politics look so petty," Mitchell famously declared. "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.'"
ASAN's message to the president, which flew approximately 90,000 feet high, was launched Wednesday to commemorate Yuri's Night, the anniversary of the first human space flight in 1961, and to express solidarity with the upcoming anti-Trump March for Science on April 22.
The Trump administration's disdain for environmental and public health regulations, its cuts to medical research, and its suppression of climate-related research and information has prompted widespread concern and outcry over what has been described as a 'war on science.' To assert the importance of evidence-based policymaking and the "vital role science plays in our health, safety, economies, and governments," advocates will be marching on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. as well as in more than 425 satellite demonstrations.
In addition to promoting the Earth Day action, ASAN launched its celestial protest to help raise funds so that it may continue its mission of "bridging the gap between scientific discovery and artistic expression."
"Outer space is open by definition, and must be democratic and accessible to
all autonauts," the group's website reads. "Relegating space solely to
government actors and corporate interests necessarily creates false and
unsustainable divides in the otherwise radically free cosmic environment. The
only sustainable and democratic method of exploring outer space must be rooted
in a decentralized network of community-based, autonomous space agencies."