While other countries, companies, and space agencies are racing to put the first man on Mars and eventually start a colony on the planet, other scientists want to create a space nation. The recently revealed Asgardia project will be the first of its kind when completed.
The conflict over our planet’s increasingly scarce resources has led some scientists to envision a self-sustaining space nation called Asgardia. Its citizens would reside in a giant orbiting space station which some hope it may become a sovereign nation and eventually be part of the United Nation with its own flag.
At this point, the project only has a website asgardia.space. According to the information available on the page, Asgardia represents the prototype of a free and unrestricted society which values knowledge, intelligence and science as its core values alongside the recognition of the value of each human life.
Anyone on Earth can apply to become a citizen of the space nation. However, all applicants will be heavily scrutinized and only the selected people will have the opportunity to live on the space station when it will launch. At this time over 310515 people have already applied for citizenship.
Although the space nation project is only in its infancy, the first step will begin 2017, with the launch of their first satellite. The development of Asgardia is being directed by the Aerospace International Research Center based in Vienna. It is a private company founded by Dr. Iogr Ashurbeiyli, a Russian scientist, and businessman. Currently, he is the main financial backer of the project but it will also be partly crowdfunded.
Experts have been quite critical of the viability of this project and its aspiration as the first space nation. First of all, the Outer Space Treaty signed by all current UN members prohibit any actor on claiming sovereignty in outer space. Second of all, some experts have criticized that the crowdfunding aspect of the project is a sign that the founder doesn’t have a feasible plan and timeline for its realization.
Nonetheless, Asgardia hopes to create a new framework regarding ownership and nationhood in outer space. It will adapt the current laws involving space, private ownership and enterprise to a new era of space exploration.
What do you think about the first space nation Asgardia?
Image source: Asgardia.space