The notion of a space nation may seem like something taken out of a Star Trek episode but plans to make it real are well underway. No one knows exactly when and how. But the project proposed by Russian businessman Igor Ashurbeyli talks of a democratic, peaceful nation of the not too distant future.
Ashurbeyli is the founder of the Aerospace International Research Station (AIRC), located in Vienna, Austria. His plans are for a space nation to permanently orbit Earth, in order to better protect our planet from incoming asteroids, debris, and other space dangers such as dangerous radiation from the Sun.
The name of the space nation will be Asgardia. It is obviously inspired by Asgard, the home of Odin, Thor and other gods from Norse mythology. It should be noted that, unlike the future space nation, the Vikings didn’t think of Asgard as a world above the skies, but rather, as different realm entirely.
It is not yet known exactly what Asgardia will look like and how and if people are going to live in it. But its official site already encourages people to apply for citizenship. Most importantly, anyone on Earth can become an Asgardian.
By this, Ashurbeyli plans on allowing space access to citizens of nations that have, as of yet, no means of putting even the smallest satellites in orbit. At the moment, only 11 countries have satellites orbiting Earth: Russia, USA, France, Japan, China, UK, India, Ukraine, Israel, Iran, and North Korea. The European Space Ageny (ESA) is the only intergovernmental organization to have its own satellite.
Ashurbeyli proposes a community dedicated to the pursuit of scientific and technological research, focusing primarily on space exploration. Asgardia claims to be a protector not only of Earth but of space itself, making sure that other nations are peaceful in exploring and exploiting the cosmos.
The space nation claims not to interfere in any conflict on Earth, but also to be independent from the politics of any terrestrial state. Peace is a key word in describing Asgardia’s intentions, though the nation proposes to have its own laser system, in order to deflect any asteroids that may cross paths with Earth.
More so, the project managers say that Asgardia does not violate The Outer Space Treaty, put together by the United Nations in the 1960s. Asgardia itself will apply to become a member of the United Nations. The first Asgardian satellite is due for launch in 2017.
Image source: Wikipedia
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