Imagine living in a country beyond Earth; in a fully-fledged and independent nation that floats in space. Imagine being able to expand your experience of "living" into the Universe.
Does that sound great? Does that sound like something you would want to do? Well, named after the ancient Norse mythology's country of the Gods and city in the skies (and Thor's home), Asgardia
might be your dream come true.
This ambitious plan was announced last year by a group of international scientists and researchers led by a Russian billionaire and the founder of the Aerospace International Research Center Igor Ashurbeyli
. The team looks forward to having this hypothetical orbital country as a member of the United Nations but its legal ambitions isn't very clear yet.
Nonetheless, the team have already been crowd-sourcing the country's flag, insignia and national anthem. They are even planning to create their own currency and calendar! As to its scientific and technological components, the team aims to 'ensure the peaceful use of space', ' protect planet Earth from space threats' and 'create a demilitarized and free scientific base of knowledge in space', as stated in their site
While everything in this space nation sounded pretty far-off, over 180,000 Earthlings (and counting) already signed up for allegiance (a.k.a. citizenship). Now, Asgardia is even getting realer as it takes its first step into space with the launch of its data storage satellite this September. According to a recent US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filing, Asgardia-1 (the nano-satellite) will piggy back on a resupply mission to the ISS.
'The primary payload is a solid state device hard drive,' Asgardia said in the application. 'The drive is loaded on the ground with data, and the data is updated once in orbit. A file is returned that verifies successful data transmission.'
However, this new venture will generally be facing immense obstacles as this is the first time a wannabe private space nation pushes its way towards the actualization of creating a new civilization into orbit. This may sound good theoretically but the painstaking process would require so much time, money and legal implications. So, a friendly advice, don't get your hopes up on leaving Earth- at least not yet. (Also, it brings back so much memories from the movie Elysium. Or maybe it's just me.)