WASHINGTON: The first protest of its kind has taken place in space when an astronaut group Autonomous Space Agency Network (ASAN), sent an insulting ‘tweet’ into orbit on a weather balloon early this week against Donald Trump.
The tweet was inspired from astronaut Edgar Mitchell who was the sixth person to walk on the moon, and had said that international politics look so petty.
He famously said of viewing the earth from space. “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 (expletive).’
Taking inspiration, the team at the ASAN held the first protest in the space.
“Everyone at ASAN is a pretty big fan of Dr. Mitchell, who was one of the more … colorful characters to have ever set foot on another celestial body,” a member of ASAN member told Washington Post.
“We sought to send a message of protest to President Trump against his proposed budget cuts for NASA’s Earth science program, which is invaluable to understanding climate change and making informed, data-driven policy decisions.”
Earlier this week, ASAN had posted that they were hosting ‘the first protest in space’. Printing out the tweet on a huge piece of paper, the group tied it to a weather balloon which then floated off to an altitude of 90,000ft.
This is certainly quite high but is not the political act farthest from the ground as astronauts, for instance, may cast their ballots from aboard the International Space Station.
Tagging the US President on Twitter, ASAN said: ‘@realDonaldTrump Look at that, you son of a (expletive).’
The group lamented White House budget cuts to four of NASA’s Earth science missions.
“We are not only missing out on incredible opportunities to learn more about our planet,” the member said, “but Trump is also endangering the lives of millions of people outside the United States who are most at risk of climate change-related disasters.”
A spokesman for the group said that the protest was planned to mark the anniversary of Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, and in solidarity with the upcoming March for Science.
Although ASAN described the act as the “first protest in space,” but there is boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and space. The balloon technically did not reach space as ascended to about a fourth of the way to the Karman line at 330,000ft.
“We believe that we can’t say that we’ve truly entered the ‘space age’ until outer space is demilitarized, democratic and accessible to all autonauts,” the ASAN member said.
“We’re here to show the world that space is not just for generals, autocrats and boy billionaires.”