“Look at that, you son of a bitch.” That was the message of what is believed to be the first political protest in space, and it was directed at the President of the United States:
The Tweet was launched into space by a weather balloon belonging to the Autonomous Space Agency Network (ASAN), an anonymous group of space scientists.
The tweet was quoting Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell, the sixth person to walk on the moon. He famously said of viewing Earth from space: “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.’ ” This quote has been cited as an example of the overview effect, a perspective shift toward global unity and conservation reported by astronauts struck by the planet’s fragility.
“Everyone at ASAN is a pretty big fan of Dr. Mitchell, who was one of the more … colorful characters to have ever set foot on another celestial body,” the ASAN member said. “We sought to send a message of protest to President Trump against his proposed budget cuts for NASA’s Earth science program, which is invaluable to understanding climate change and making informed, data-driven policy decisions.”
Scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson is also a big fan of Mitchell, as he tweeted the entire original quote when Mitchell passed away in 2016: