This Space Agency Just Took Protesting President Trump to New Heights

April 14th 2017

Anna Albaryan

Get on their level.

The Autonomous Space Agency Network (ASAN), a new community-based space exploration program, just sent a tweet to President Donald Trump 90,000-feet above ground, and it's epic.


The space group posted on the ASAN Twitter account Wednesday an image of an out-of-this-world protest against Trump that soon garnered quite a bit of attention, with over 1,500 retweets and 1,900 likes.

The text was inspired by NASA astronaut Edgar Mitchell, who once made a very pointed statement about politicians and outer space:

"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.’"

Mitchell's quote "succinctly captured the spirit of our protest and for better or worse, is just as relevant today as when he uttered it. We're all big fans of Dr. Mitchell, who just passed away last year, so it seemed like a fitting homage to the man," said Laika Valentina, the director general of ASAN, to ATTN:.

In preparation for the forthcoming March for Science protest in Washington, D.C., on April 22, which is also Earth Day, the space agency decided to stand in solidarity with its fellow scientists by launching their protest to (nearly) outer space by way of a homemade weather balloon.

As so-called DIY science experts, ASAN explained to ATTN: why this mission was the best representation of how they plan on resisting Trump:

"The Aphrodite 1 mission perfectly captures the spirit of the Autonomous Space Agency Network and its commitment to creative space exploration. It was funded by community donations and a benefit punk show (which only managed to raise $10 or something, but it was a great time) and represents the culmination of (some) work and a lot of play by several individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds."

The space group only launched this week, but from the looks of things on Twitter, they've already gained a lot of fans:

The Trump administration has cut funding for NASA's earth exploration program and instead asked them to focus on space exploration in a move that dismisses the threat of climate change, ATTN: reported in November.

"According to a report published in Scientific American on Wednesday, a scientific policy advisor to the president-elect says the administration will divert agency funding away from Earth sciences — which includes the study of climate change — toward planetary exploration," ATTN:'s Dave Fonseca wrote.

This wasn't taken well by many scientists who have been studying climate change for decades in an attempt to find lasting solutions and gather important data that could help curb the effects of global warming on earth. However, with an administration that has — at times — denied the existence of man-made climate change on earth, altogether, scientists are responding with protests.

“In solidarity with the upcoming March for Science (4/22), the Autonomous Space Agency Network is proud to have executed the first protest in near space (~90,000 ft),” wrote ASAN on its YouTube channel, where the full video of their protest launch was posted.

The proposed budget plan for NASA by the Trump administration, which was announced on March 21, has astronauts and scientists around the world deeply concerned about the data associated with climate change. The $19.5 million plan asks NASA to desert its research on man-made climate change and, instead, focus on space exploration, including expeditions to Mars.

However, all things considered, ASAN's high-flying tweet was a bold move against the new administration's policies.

Check out ASAN's video on the launch below.