The world’s first space nation officially in orbit with new satellite

November 16, 2017 by  
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Space is now officially home to the known universe’s first “space nation”. Asgardia launched its very first satellite, Asgardia-1, into orbit on November 12, 2017. Only about the size of a soccer ball, the satellite traveled aboard a NASA commercial cargo vehicle to make its two-day journey from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia to the International Space Station. The “nanosat” contains .5 terabytes of data from 18,000 of Asgardia’s 114,000 citizens to demonstrate the nation’s ability to store data independently of any earthbound state or corporation; it also contains items of national heritage, including Asgardia’s flag, coat of arms, and developing constitution. Named after Norse mythology’s city of the skies, Asgardia was founded by Russian scientist Dr. Igor Ashubeyli in October 2016. Since the country’s founding, people of many nationalities have signed up to become Asgardians. “I really want to be able to see if human beings are able to have more opportunity to express their opinions,” said Rayven Sin, an Asgardian artist based in Hong Kong , according to CNN . “The society we live in now — everything seems to be either capitalism or communism — there’s a lot of conflict. As a human being, I would hope (to see) if we could have other ways (of living). For a better life, and for more options.” Related: The isolated Pacific graveyard where spaceships go to die Once properly prepped and equipped at the International Space Station , Asgardia-1 will take flight and enter orbit on its own, where it is expected to remain for five to eighteen months before it burns up. However, this is only the beginning of Asgardia’s story. The space nation plans to seek official recognition from the United Nations as an independent nation, a challenging feat to say the least, as well as constructing orbiting habitats on which Asgardians can live. Even Ashubeyli acknowledges the challenges ahead. “We have to be like a normal country. All countries have problems, and soon we will have the same problems,” he said to CNN . “But we will have more than normal countries because we are not on Earth.” Via CNN Images via James Vaughn/Asgardia

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The world’s first space nation officially in orbit with new satellite

Floating ‘space nation’ Asgardia promises to guard Earth from asteroids

October 12, 2016 by  
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Although this headline sounds as though it’s been ripped from a science fiction film script, we can assure you it’s real. Announced this morning in Paris, a new project will launch a satellite launch later this year, marking the first step toward the establishment of a ‘space nation’ dubbed Asgardia . The outlandish project calls for a floating, independent nation comprised of expat Earthlings who would work together to protect this green planet from asteroids, space junk, solar flares, and other threats floating around in space. Asgardia is now accepting volunteers to be among its first citizens. Asgardia takes its name from Norse mythology, specifically from the land ruled by Odin. Comic book fans will also recognize the project’s name, because it has a long history in Marvel lore . The project’s logo image features a rendering of a spaceship and while there is no telling whether the image represents any actual designs, it does suggest a number of things about the venture. The spaceship sports the Eye of Horus , an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection, reinforcing Asgardia’s mission to protect Earth from asteroids and other threats. Related: Elon Musk reveals his big plans for colonizing Mars The project is operating on a first-come, first-served basis, granting citizenship to the first 100,000 people who sign up on the Asgardia website. It’s not clear at this point what that would entail, or when human volunteers would have an opportunity to take up residence on a floating spaceship nation . Who is behind this mysterious and incredibly ambitious project? The effort is an international one, backed by the Aerospace International Research Center and the center’s online space magazine, Room . The team is led by Dr Igor Ashurbeyli, a leading member of the Russian Federal Space Agency, who founded AIRC in Vienna in 2013 and is editor-in-chief of the online magazine. He was recently named chair of UNESCO’s Science of Space committee, and has launched Asgardia amid a swarm of criticism, skepticism, and even laughter. But, yes, in case you’re wondering, I am waiting to find out whether my citizenship request made it in under the wire. Via DailyMail Images via James Vaughn and Asgardia

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Floating ‘space nation’ Asgardia promises to guard Earth from asteroids

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