By: +David Herron; Date: April 16, 2017
The Autonomous Space Agency Network (ASAN http://asan.space) is a Phoenix-based group whose website encourages democratically controlled open space exploration. As in "Outer space is open by definition, and must be democratic and accessible to all" and "Relegating space solely to government actors and corporate interests necessarily creates false and unsustainable divides in the otherwise radically free cosmic environment." (BTW: in case it's not clear ASAN != NASA)
According to their YouTube video posting ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=damWIvQn1Eo), this is the first political protest from Space.
On the occasion of Yuri's Night 2017 and 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).
Going by the tweets on the ASAN account, the flight was launched in March from a spot near Phoenix, then recovered near Tucson on March 26. The 2.5 hour video shows the entire flight up to when the balloon burst.
The ASAN team assembled a weather balloon, filled it with helium, attaching a camera, and sent it aloft for about $750 in materials. That according to their tweet: https://twitter.com/ASANspace/status/852665234611347460
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO SEND A TWEET TO SPACE? 2 Helium tanks: 300 160 cu.ft of helium: 160 Camera: 120 GPS: 100 Balloon: 70 Total: $750