Space

Don't want to live on this planet anymore? Try Asgardia the first "space nation"

Don't want to live on this pla...
A team at AIRC wants to launch Asgardia, the first space nation, designed as an inhabited satellite orbiting Earth, operating independently of any existing nation
A team at AIRC wants to launch Asgardia, the first space nation, designed as an inhabited satellite orbiting Earth, operating independently of any existing nation
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A team at AIRC wants to launch Asgardia, the first space nation, designed as an inhabited satellite orbiting Earth, operating independently of any existing nation
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A team at AIRC wants to launch Asgardia, the first space nation, designed as an inhabited satellite orbiting Earth, operating independently of any existing nation
The team are taking applications from the public to be Asgardia's first citizens, and to help design its flag, insignia and national anthem
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The team are taking applications from the public to be Asgardia's first citizens, and to help design its flag, insignia and national anthem

In what sounds like a backstory for a sci-fi B-movie, a team from the Aerospace International Research Center (AIRC) has announced plans for Asgardia, a "space nation" satellite that will operate as its own country, independent of any Earthly nation state. At a press conference in Paris this week, project leader Dr Igor Ashurbeyli outlined the philosophical, legal and scientific goals and issues of Asgardia, as well as put out a call for Earthlings to apply to be its first citizens, and help design its flag and other national symbols.

Fans of Norse mythology (or Marvel movies) will recognize the name Asgardia as stemming from the city in the skies ruled by Odin. According to Ashurbeyli, it was chosen to represent the unifying philosophy behind the project.

"It is the realization of man's eternal dream to leave his cradle on Earth and expand into the Universe," Ashurbeyli explains. "Asgardia's philosophical envelope is to 'digitalize' the Noosphere, creating a mirror of humanity in space but without Earthly division into states, religions and nations. In Asgardia we are all just Earthlings!"

The never-ending tangle of international politics is enough to make anyone want to jump ship, so one of Asgardia's core ideals is to be (literally) above all that, with Ashurbeyli stating that the space nation won't involve itself in the petty squabbles between Earth states. That said, they do want to be recognized as a member of the UN, which sounds like a classic have your cake and eat it scenario.

The team are taking applications from the public to be Asgardia's first citizens, and to help design its flag, insignia and national anthem
The team are taking applications from the public to be Asgardia's first citizens, and to help design its flag, insignia and national anthem

To keep Earthly conflicts on Earth, Ashurbeyli explains that space law needs a refresher, and the project aims to develop a new legal platform for how countries and companies can explore, mine and research in space, with a focus on building a free, open-access base of knowledge to help less developed countries get off the ground.

The website even goes as far as to say that "Asgardia will demonstrate to scientists throughout the world that independent, private and unrestricted research is possible," which sounds like the perfect setup for a classic dystopian "experiment gone horribly wrong" sci-fi story. Less disturbing science priorities include detecting and protecting Earth from incoming space threats like asteroids, cosmic radiation and solar flares.

According to Ashurbeyli, the space nation itself is expected to take the form of one or more core satellites, along with clusters of smaller network-centric ones and a protective space platform. If that vague description doesn't tame your curiosity for how exactly Asgardia is going to work, unfortunately that's all the information the team has thrown out there so far – but they promise it's not because they have no idea.

"It is because we want the widest participation in this open project – participation from all interested scientists and companies, without limiting them by our own vision of the technological side of things at the moment," says Ashurbeyli.

The public is invited to participate as well, and those who are interested in becoming the first citizens of space (in the event it ever gets off the ground) can apply on the Asgardia website, with the first 100,000 applicants given special preference. Artistic future-Asgardians are also being asked to help design the space nation's flag, insignia and anthem.

Of course, there's a lot of asterisks to this story, but the team is confident enough to say that the first satellite will be launched as early as next year.

If nothing else, there's points to be awarded for ambition here.

Source: Asgardia.space, via ROOM

10 comments
myale
Hmm so they have an idea to solve artificial gravity and cosmic ray damage then
qualla3stfiqui
flags anthems and all corroded this planet, we don't need to export this folly to tomorrow
Rocky Stefano
@myale, shielding requirements are much lower than what you would think as they are likely still operating withing Earth's magnetic field
fb36
Countless micronation projects failed on Earth and they think they can succeed in space?
Douglas Bennett Rogers
The station can easily be rotated for gravity. One tenth g would be plenty, as the human body is not designed for 1 g. It could have a 1 g plus exercise area.
Digitalclips
If they could overcome the radiation and gravity issues it might work as long as they ban any form of religion. Otherwise it will just end up as bad as Earth.
Daniel Harbin
As long as people, humans are involved this experiment will fail its goal in creating a new nation outside of Earth rule. Its human nature to control and in that quest war. This place will still be dependent on the Earth and regular infusions of food and gasses required to sustain life. Yeah just look at the Earth and its politics and you will see the space community.
Wolf0579
One more thing we must make sure does not escape Earth... negativism.
Leave all the naysayers and "negative nellies" on Earth. We won't have any use for them in such a challenging environment.
Stephen N Russell
Ive applied to the Future, love the idea.
Lumen
Douglas, "...the human body is not designed for 1 g." Really? What gravitational strength then was the human body designed for?
Digitalclips, Isn't banning any form of religion a religion in itself? What happened to freedom and free expression of ideas? North Korea anyone?
Wolfo579, While banning naysayers appears good on the surface, humans carry this trait around called sin, and I guarantee that any person selected will take it with them if they go. Sadly, humans can be quite fickle in their thinking, neither is there a basis for banning negativity 100%.