There are no limits, except for those that we impose on ourselves. – Walter Bishop played by John Noble in Sci-Fi TV Series Fringe. The TV Series Fringe intrigued viewers who kept interests in topics like physics, alternate universe, time travel etc. Something on the same lines, at least for a person from non-science background is coming true, top scientists across the globe have come together to set up a nation in space.
“Asgardia is a nation-state of space, a new nation dedicated to expanding peaceful exploration of space for the benefit of humanity”, say its official website with a .space domain. Project Asgardia is led by Igor Ashurbeyli, a Russian-Azerbaijani scientist, businessman and benefactor. Igor was the CEO of Scientific Production Association (SPA) Almaz from 2000 to 2011 and also the Chairman of the Board of Socium Holding. He has a Doctorate of Science in Engineering. He has a PhD in Engineering, with a specialization in Computer Science. Asgardia, at first glance, is a brilliant concept which is dedicated to the hard work of thousands of space scientists. According to its website, Asgardia will offer an independent platform, free from all constraints of land-based legal jurisdiction. A place which is truly a ‘no man’s land’.
The ‘space nation’ of Asgardia is looking for 1,00,000 citizens to apply to United Nations for legal nationhood. Asgardia is an attempt to prove that sky is no longer a limit, it’s a future. Asgardia also launched its maiden satellite in space from Wallops Flight facility in Virginia, USA. Head of space kingdom Asgardia, Dr. Igor Ashurbeyli attended the satellite launch.
As per press release posted on asgardia.space, the launch of Asgardia’s first satellite establishes the nation’s sovereign territory in space and satisfies the last condition necessary for admission to the UN: that in addition to the Constitution, a government and a currency, the nation must have a territory. Asgardia’s Constitution has already been accepted; its cryptocurrency, the Solar, is registered at the European Union Intellectual Property Office, and the government formation is underway.
The Asgardia-1 satellite is contained within the Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft, which is flying atop the Antares rocket to the International Space Station. From the ISS, the satellite will be deployed to outer space, flying in low Earth orbit. Asgardia. The satellite contains half a terabyte of data with crucial information about the new nation including the nation’s constitution, its national symbols, and information about each of its 115,000 official citizens. Each citizen that accepted the Constitution is allowed to send data up to the satellite.
Space being the man’s final frontier, Asgardia’s legal nation country status is very unlikely. If the proposal is accepted by United Nations, experts wary that there will be a high competition among earth based nation’s to establish colonies in space. Like it happened in Antarctica, every nation with space mission would spend millions to prove hegemony, not on actual research.
– Chaitanya Kulkarni