Asgardia is a new space nation made up of consortium of scientists

By @vitthernandez on
Asgardia
Screen shot of Asgardia website. Asgardia

A Russian nanoscientist and businessman leads a group of people who plan to establish a celestial state. Igor Ashurbyeiyli and a group of scientists, engineers, businessmen and lawyers plan to call the “first nation state in space” Asgardia after a mythical city in the sky ruled by Odin, a Norse mythological figure.

The group plans to launch into orbit as early as 2017 one satellite that would create the newest member-nation in the world which would have an independent platform “free from the constraints of land-based country’s laws, News.com.au reports.

Ashurbeiyli, founder of the Aerospace International Research Center in Vienna and current chairman of UNESCO’s Science of Space Committee, hopes Asgardia would one day be accepted by the UN. In a Paris press conference on Wednesday, he identifies the project’s scientific and technological component as peace, access and protection.

He says the space nation would be an independent country with priority on scientific advancement over political or commercial ambitions. Ashurbeiyli’s promise of the creation of a state-of-the-art protective shield for Earth against asteroids, solar flares, space debris and other cosmic threats is timely amid reports of NASA’s discover that four asteroids flew close to the Earth on Tuesday, Oct 11.

As part of the project’s launch, Ashurbeiyli announced the launch of contests to develop the key symbols of a country, consisting of a flag, insignia and anthem of Asgardia. Winners would have the opportunity to add their personal message to a time capsule on the first satellite of the space nation.

However,  in an article on The Conversation, Monica Grady, a professor of planetary and space sciences at The Open University, sees the ambition of Asgardia’s founders as more likely being a “pie in the sky” than a real space nation.

Grady, citizen No 62 of Asgardia, shares her questions, doubts and misgivings about the planned space nation whose membership, as of latest count, is almost 20,000.

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