On 12th November 2017 the first “nation in space” has been launched into the orbit of the earth. This is being stated as the first major step towards establishing a human colony beyond the realms of our planet.
The “Space kingdom of Asgardia” is, in reality, a toaster-sized satellite which is filled with information and about 1 terabyte Data. This data has been entered and uploaded by 115000 of its already registered citizens. This virtual nation is the mastermind creation of Russian scientist Igor Ashurbeyli. The satellite holds the foundation of the entire project which includes the nation’s constitution, national symbols, and all the data.
Launched from NASA’s Wallops flight facility in Virginia aboard a Cygnus spacecraft it will dock with the International Space Station by 14th November. After providing supplies to the astronauts stationed there it will undock itself and fly high above the earth. This is when it would release the satellite into the orbit. This entire process would take around 1 month time from now.
The founder Ashurbeyli wants to get Asgardia recognition of a separate colony from the UN. However, that is going to take time and so far no country in the world is granting it that recognition. As for now the only benefit the citizens of this nation are going to get is that they can directly upload data into Asgardia -1 even when it is in orbit.
The leaders of this ambitious project think that this satellite will be the first of a series of small projects. Eventually, the settlement of all these colonies would lead to a human space colony being established in the space. This whole concept of having a satellite may actually seem absurd to some people but Ashurbeyli seems to be very focused and serious about its future.
It is being said that Asherbeyli is going to Washington DC to discuss the prospects of it becoming a UN-endorsed nation. Apart from that Parliamentary elections are being held for the citizens of this unique settlement. When asked a few months back the CEO and VP of the business side of Asgardia admitted that national ID and passports are also being created for these people. Asgardia would be establishing its embassies in every continent and these documents would be issued from these locations.
Ever since Asherbeyli had discussed this concept of having a space colony nearly 3 lakh people showed interest in his venture. Now that finally the satellite has been launched it would be some time before we are able to understand whether the same is worth all the effort that has been put in.
It is an ambitious project that goes without saying but whether it will be successful would depend on a lot of all other factors. However, if it actually attains the heights which Asherbeyli plans to take it to then that would be the second giant leap for mankind. A lot of things would change and definitely for the best.