Among the many concerns space fans have about the Trump administration, funding priorities are right at the top, especially as Trump seems more interested in showy aerospace ideas than more practical ones like avoiding civilization-ending asteroid strikes. So, to get his attention, or at least point out there’s more to the Earth than Mar-A-Lago, an amateur space society decided to hold a protest from the stratosphere.
The Autonomous Space Agency Network, or ASAN (and yes, it’s NASA backwards) attached a rude tweet to a weather balloon and sent it up into space. The tweet, “Look at that you son of a bitch,” is a nod to Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell, who famously said politicians should be shot (temporarily) into space:
“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.”
The full video is nearly two hours long, and we’ve skipped to the most dramatic part, but as the balloon rises up and up and up, and you get a look at how the world appears from above, it’s easy to grasp why space scientists want to protect the Earth.
Will Trump notice? The jury’s out because the guy seems to be uninterested in anything that doesn’t directly involve him. But if nothing else, it’s a good reminder to the rest of us just what’s at stake.