Andy Milonakis had just the right response for Saturday's news cycle, including the SpaceX launch, the coronavirus pandemic and the protests over the killing of George Floyd. The comedian tweeted his "congratulations to the Astronauts that left Earth today," adding: "Good choice." He was surprised to see the massive response his snark got.
Milonakis' tweet reached record-high numbers of likes for him, he revealed in later posts. The comedian best-known for The Andy Milonakis Show on MTV is now an avid Twitch streamer, and he got online to converse with fans later in the day. As Milonakis succinctly pointed out, this weekend saw a confluence of momentous news stories, from escalating Black Lives Matter demonstrations around the country to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic to the first successful crewed space launch in the U.S. since 2011. Many followers shared his surreal feelings.
Congratulations to the Astronauts that left Earth today. Good choice— Andy Milonakis (@andymilonakis) May 30, 2020
Milonakis later joked about the massive engagement on his post, writing of his success: "I'm going to Disney Wo... Oh wait. Never mind." Like many Twitter users, he spent the weekend following the news, trying to decide which history-making story to keep track of at any given time.
Astronauts Ben Behnken and Douglas Hurley took off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Saturday afternoon, marking a historic moment in the field of space travel. NASA's Space Shuttle Program ended in 2011, and the agency opted to buy seats in Russian shuttles going forward so that it could focus on research instead. However, in 2014 it offered contracts to private companies to build an American space shuttle, resulting in SpaceX's Crew Dragon 2. This mission was the first time NASA has approved a privately-owned spacecraft to take humans off the earth.
The launch could mark the beginning of a new era in the U.S. space program. NASA will save millions of dollars if SpaceX can streamline the process of traveling back and forth to the International Space Station, while SpaceX founder Elon Musk still hopes to expand to the point of colonizing Mars. NASA also hopes this new flexibility will create more room for research.
Meanwhile, the astronauts left behind a country still ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic and people fed up with their leadership. Protesters have been taking to the streets since Monday to express their outrage over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, along with other unarmed African-American people, by police. The demonstrations have led to some shocking clashes with police, who have turned riot gear on civilians.
Public health experts say that the protests are almost sure to cause a spike in new coronavirus cases, yet some have also shared their sympathy with demonstrators. Protests are planned to continue in the coming days.