Asgardia: Humanities Nation in Space?

June 14, 2017 – If you have not heard of Asgardia, you are not alone. Started through initial funding from Russian businessperson and scientist, Igor Ashurbeyli, the goal is to build an independent space station that will be a sovereign nation.

So far over 500,000 have applied to become citizens of this nascent nation. Ashurbeyli at a news conference held in Hong Kong yesterday noted that the early success of his proposal has forced him to stop accepting applications for citizenship. He stated, “we have excluded minors who have registered without the permission of their parents.” Apparently, a lot of children, when they found out about Asgardia, applied for citizenship.

 

 

The timetable for national recognition includes endorsement by the United Nations early in 2018.

Temporary earthly headquarters can be found in Vienna. The nation runs as a not-for-profit, with crowdfunding helping in its launch. Flag, national anthem and coat of arms contests were launched last year. Final vote confirmation will come after June 18th of this year. That’s the day all Asgardian citizens will vote on the constitution as well. It is designated Unified Voting Day and will become both a national holiday and the first day of the new Asgardian calendar which features thirteen 28-day months plus the addition of one non-month Year Day at the end of each calendar year.

English so far appears to be the official language. No official religion is designated with the constitution guaranteeing freedom of personal belief.

Plans for government consist of a cabinet of 12 ministers reporting to the king who will serve a 5-year term. Among the ministries, there is nothing designated for defense.

The Asgardian constitutional draft begins with these words:

“Asgardia is a Constitutional Monarchy that is the first free space unitary, social nation under law that is above ethnic, national, religious divides, based on morality, fairness, peace and the equal dignity of every human being, which looks to the future and the infinite space of the Universe.”

Why a kingdom rather than a duly constituted republic?

The rationale is, under the benign rule of Ashurbeyli, the first king (who can be seen in the picture above), citizens will have no need of the kind of government found on Earth. Any of them can propose a law that will be declared legally binding through a majority vote in an exercise of direct democracy.

The national purpose will be to promote peace in space, limiting geopolitics and war to the planet far below. Instead, the space nation will be about trade, education, the arts, and exploration.

Crowdfunding and Ashurbeyli’s personal financial contributions are funding the national enterprise which will begin in space with the launch of Asgardia’s first satellite this fall.

Designated Asgardia-1, it will be a tiny CubeSat (seen below) weighing a mere 2.8 kilograms (6 pounds). In its memory, as it flies 500 kilometers (300 miles) above Earth, will be the names of all Asgardian citizens.

 

 

A note about the demographics of those who are current citizens: there appears to be a paucity of women with only 17% of the female persuasion. I think all those young and old males who have signed up to be Asgardians have some recruiting to do.

 


Len Rosen lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a researcher and writer who has a fascination with science and technology. He is married with a daughter who works in radio, and a miniature red poodle who is his daily companion on walks of discovery. More...

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  • Tim Suetens

    Don’t complain about a lack of women. People choose to sign up or not, no one is made to join or told they can’t based on gender.

    If women want Asgardia to have more women, perhaps more women should join. We can’t *make* them join.