Protesting Trump from the edge of space, with a touch of Opera

; Date: April 16, 2017

Tags: Space Flight »»»» Political Protest

In what may be the first political protest from Space, the Autonomous Space Agency Network (ASAN) launched a balloon to near-earth orbit to send a message to the Trump Administration. Taking a cue from Astronaut Edgar Mitchel, who said '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 millions miles out and say: Look at that, you son of a bitch,' the message carried aloft by the balloon said exactly that. As in - Hey Trump, come up here and see what this planet really looks like, and what your actual responsibility is as a fellow human being.
The first political protest from space at about 90,000 feet

The Autonomous Space Agency Network (ASAN ( 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 ( (, 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: (


2 Helium tanks: 300
160 cu.ft of helium: 160
Camera: 120
GPS: 100
Balloon: 70

Total: $750

About the Author(s)

David Herron : David Herron is a writer and software engineer focusing on the wise use of technology. He is especially interested in clean energy technologies like solar power, wind power, and electric cars. David worked for nearly 30 years in Silicon Valley on software ranging from electronic mail systems, to video streaming, to the Java programming language, and has published several books on Node.js programming and electric vehicles.