First Satellite For ‘Space Nation’ Asgardia Ready To Launch Itself Into Orbit

First Posted: Jun 14, 2017 05:10 AM EDT

In October 2016, an international group of entrepreneurs, researchers and scientists announced the creation of Asgardia, the first sovereign nation in space. Now, the consortium has reportedly announced its plans regarding the launch of the Asgardia-1 satellite.

According to CNET, Igor Ashurbeyli -- Russian nanoscientist and Asgardia’s leader and current one-man government -- has recently announced the plan to launch the small satellite, Asgardia-1, later this year. The satellite, which will carry the information of Asgardia’s constitution, flag and data stored by up to 1.5 million Asgardians, will constitute the totality of the space nation. In plainer words, the launch of the satellite will, in essence, be a philosophical, technological and legal experiment that will announce an orbiting server to the sovereign nation.

"Asgardia-1 will mark the beginning of a new space era, taking our citizens into space in virtual form, at first," Ashurbeyli said, according to an Engadget report. "It will be our foundation stone, from which we will look to form a network of satellites that will help protect Earth against solar flares, asteroids, man-made space debris and other space hazards."

Incidentally, to become a citizen of Asgardia, one has to simply fill out a few online forms, thereby being allocated an ID number and added to the database. Interestingly, whoever wants to be a citizen of the space nation has to consent to the fact that they are joining a nation that is technically a dictatorship at present.

However, the leaders of Asgardia have said that this clause will change soon and they are working on the development of a constitution. Moreover, the current batch of nearly 200,000 registered Asgardians will be able to vote to approve Asgardia's foundational document on June 18. CubeSat company Nanoracks will help with the launch of the Asgardia-1 satellite, which is tentatively planned for the Northern Hemisphere's autumn of 2017. 

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