If you haven’t heard or applied already, Asgardia is a so-called “space nation” that will orbit Earth. Named after a Norse mythological city of the skies, Asgardia will be open to all residents on Earth to join and will be free from politics and laws. Quite the idea right? You’re probably thinking there’s a catch and you’ll have to pay money to apply, but it’s actually free! There is one catch, but i’ll get to it later.
Yes, this is actually a thing. There has been over 500,000 applicants already! with 200,000 being confirmed as verified citizens from 200 countries. You can apply as long as you’re over the age of 18, regardless of nationality, race, religion, and financial standing, with an e-mail address, date of birth, and residential address. This even includes ex-convicts as long as they are clear of charges during the time of application.
Founded in 2016 by Dr. Igor Ashurbeyli, a billionaire Russian computer scientist, Asgardia will represent a peaceful society, offering easy access to space technologies while protecting Earth from space threats, including asteroids and man-made space debris.
Ashurbeyli has brought this idea closer to a reality as he recently launched Asgardia’s first satellite on November 12 known as Asgardia-1. The small satellite is around the size of a loaf of bread, containing the personal details of 18,000 of its citizens.
Asgardia-1 was sent to the International Space Station (ISS), where it will be set free to orbit Earth by the six astronauts aboard the ISS. The satellite will orbit Earth between 5 and 18 months before it burns up and disintegrates.
Ashurbeyli said “I promised there would be a launch”
“We selected NASA as a reliable partner… because we have to meet the commitments that I made 13 months ago.”
“Asgardia-1 is our first, small step which we hope will lead to a giant leap forward for mankind.”
Going forward from this first launch, Ashurbeyli and his team hope to create habitable platforms in low-Earth orbits, the first being 161 – 321 kilometers (100 – 200 miles) from Earth, with the first human flight to these habitable platforms in 8 years.
In an interview with CNN, Ashurbeyli said, “We want to give equal opportunities to everyone who has a mind, who can do something, for their protection”
“Our real home is not the house or the city where we were born. (Our) home is planet Earth, (and) we want to protect it.
“(It’s) not a fantasy. Going to Mars, the galactics, so on — that’s just fake. I intend something more real.”
To make things more interesting, Ashurbeyli plans to single-handedly fund the project! The estimated amount is unknown at this time.
Who is Dr. Igor Ashurbeyli?
The 53 year old Azerbaijan born Russian rocket scientist graduated from the Azerbaijan State Oil Academy and founded Socium, a software and consulting firm that employs 10,000 employees. He has regularly been reported as a billionaire, but has yet to appear on the Forbes rich lists.
He eventually went on to become a major player in the science industry and was awarded the Russian State Science and Technology Prize in 2010. 3 years later, he founded the Aerospace International Research Center (AIRC) in Vienna, and is currently chairman of UNESCO’s Science of Space committee.
So he’s got quite the resume.
Will Asgardia actually become a country?
Time will tell. According to Ashurbeyli, Asgardia will be applying for UN recognition as a nation in 2018, where the Security Council will have to approve the application. If approved, two-thirds of members of the General Assembly will have to vote for its admission.
Joanne Gabrynowicz, a space law expert and professor at the Beijing Institute of Technology’s School of Law, told CNN, “A state has to have these characteristics: a permanent population; a defined territory, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other states. And it must be recognized as a state by other states”
Over the next 6 months, Asgardia will be forming a democratic government, and then continuing on to form a court, prosecutors office, national audit office, and other governmental bodies, says Ashurbeyli.
So, we’ll just have to wait and see how that goes.
Want to join this space nation? Check out their website where you can apply!
What do you think about Asgardia? Will it become the first space nation?