A group of scientists has announced their plans to launch Asgardia, the first nation state in space. A satellite of Asgardia, which will be a pacifist nation-state in space, is expected to launch in 2017.
“Asgardia will demonstrate to scientists throughout the world that independent, private and unrestricted research is possible. Its first prototype satellite is planned for launching in 2017-2018,” states the project website. “Asgardia – named in honor of an ancient mythological city in the skies – will offer an independent platform free from the constraint of a land-based country’s laws. It will become a place in orbit which is truly ‘no man’s land’.”
The citizens of Asgardia will undergo examination before admission. Once approved, they will receive their passports. According to project lead Igor Ashurbeyli, if the application goes above 100,000, they can officially apply for the status of state to the UN.
However, Asgardia’s citizens will not set foot on it. Lena de Winne, a senior member of the project team, told the BBC, “Clearly, it’s difficult to wrap your head around the concept [of] how you can be a citizen of something you cannot put your foot on. But I’m a citizen of the Netherlands and I’m now in Paris… There is nothing unusual about it if you are a citizen of a land where you don’t live and where you don’t go.”
Ashurbeyli founded the Aerospace International Research Center in Vienna and is the chairman of UNESCO’s Science of Space committee.
The project team had started a competition to pick Asgardia’s national anthem and flag design.
As of now, more than 50,000 people have applied to become citizens of the pacifist nation-state in space.
For those who want to join Asgardia, you can do so by filling up a registration form on the project’s website. Further details will be sent to your e-mail afterward.