There have been many protests since Donald Trump became President, with some attracting hundreds of thousands of people opposed to his policies and views.
None, however, has soared as high as a protest by the Autonomous Space Agency Network (ASAN), an independent network of space enthusiasts that wants space to be open to everyone, not just governments and corporations.
ASAN (the initials are the opposite of NASA) attached a huge message to a weather balloon and then flew it at 90,000 feet, which is technically considered “near space.” To be in space, it must be above the Karman line, at 330,000 feet.
The sign was a re-print of a tweet from ASAN’s own Twitter account. It tags Trump’s Twitter handle, @realDonaldTrump. It says, “LOOK AT THAT, YOU SON OF A BITCH.”
The use of capital letters, says Motherboard.vice.com, which broke the story, appears to mean they were “channeling the president’s favorite form of tweeting – yelling via capitalized letters.”
The protest sign is believed to be the group’s way of expressing anger over Trump’s cuts to the NASA earth science program budget, the elimination of space and science-related agencies, the hiring of officials who deny climate change is caused by humans, the EPA’s lack of interest in sustainability for life on this planet and the pull back on programs to protect the environment, maintain clean water and air, and more.
ASAN promotes “open-source, DIY space exploration,” notes Salon, adding that its website states: “ASAN believes artistic creativity is as crucial to life as scientific curiosity and technological innovation. All ASAN missions presuppose a will to creative independence in space.”
What ASAN has done may not be the biggest or most important protest against Trump’s anti-science, anti-environment agenda, but the idea that it soared high above us all, where even Trump can see it, has wonderful symbolic importance.