Protest often calls for extreme measures in order to get the necessary attention to a certain cause. ASAN (Autonomous Space Agency Network) took that concept to new heights yesterday when they published a video on Youtube called “First Protest in Space”.
The video is nearly two and a half hours long and shows the real time ascension of the Aphrodite 1 Balloon from launch to its approximate 90000 feet height limit, carrying a protest tweet by ASAN directed towards President Donald Trump. The message states in all caps, “Look at that, you son of a bitch.”
The message may seem like a simple direct insult, but it’s much more than that.
It’s actually a direct reference to a quote from Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell talking about how, from above, politics look so petty. The entire quote reads as follows:
You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, 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. 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." - Edgar Mitchell
Trump’s leadership has sparked many protests all over the country, but this one in particular seems to be linked with Trump’s proposal to eliminate or curtail NASA’s earth science program and several other science-related agencies, along with other decisions leading to less sustainability overall.
Trump’s cuts are affecting Arts, Culture and Science just as much - his first federal budget suggested eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
This obviously enraged many artists and scientists, since this cut represents about 0.006 percent of 2016’s federal spending.
Neil DeGrasse Tyson made this even clearer with a few examples:
ASAN’s message supports the upcoming March for Science that will be taking place in Washington on Earth Day (April 22nd). On the occasion, they have promised to release another balloon with yet another protest directed at the president for the same reasons.
You can watch the full two-hour long video below: