Asgardia is the idea of ​​creating a nation in space by a group of people in which all citizens have free access to space, regardless of their race, religion or education.


Our ancestors inhabited the Earth for more than 6 million years, although the Homo sapiens species has only existed for about 300,000 years. Over these thousands of years, we have evolved both physically and behaviorally. Over time, we have become smarter, more informed and more resilient. We have developed a language for communication, discovered the tools to build empires, and devised methods to progress as a civilization.

space state

We manage to spread and prosper on all continents of the Earth. From extremely cold regions near the poles to hot and humid regions of the equator. People survived the test of time and weather. We are present almost everywhere on this planet. However, with a population of 7.5 billion, the planet’s resources are starting to run out. We lack new opportunities to explore and expand our presence on the planet. Therefore, one must look beyond the limits of the Earth.

What if we could settle somewhere far away from Earth, somewhere in space? What if we built a nation in space where all citizens, regardless of caste, creed, religion or education, could live in peace?

Well, it may seem like a utopian dream far from practical viability, but there is a group that is trying against all odds to create a nation of people in space – the Space Nation of Asgardia.

space nation

An international group of engineers, astronomers, lawyers and entrepreneurs is trying to create a nation in space. Despite the fact that several people are involved in the mission, the creator of the Asgardia Space Nation idea is the Russian scientist-entrepreneur Igor Raufovich Ashurbeyli.

According to the organizers, the goal of the space nation of Asgardia is to develop a new legal framework for the peaceful exploration of space, free from the clutches of state control on Earth. The organizers of Asgardia have officially formulated three important goals:

  • Ensure peaceful and fair use of space
  • Protect people from space dangers
  • To create a demilitarized base of scientific knowledge in space, free for all.

Although these goals are formulated formally, the implicit goal of the entire initiative is to create a human civilization in space.

How did it all start?

As mentioned earlier, the initiator of this initiative is the Russian scientist Igor Ashurbeyli. The foundations of Asgardia were laid when Ashurbeyli launched the Asgardia Independent Research Center (AIRC) in 2013. In 2014, AIRC began publishing the international space magazine ROOM. Ashurbeyli is the chief editor of this publication. In 2016, the idea of ​​creating the space nation of Asgardia was first made public, and people were encouraged to obtain the citizenship of this supposed “space nation”. People who have been granted membership are called Asgardians.


Who can become an Asgardian?

There are currently no really strict rules as to who can become an Asgardian. You just need to be over 18 and have an email address. In principle, any adult of any gender, race, religion or financial status can apply for citizenship. Even ex-convicts can apply, provided they are not charged at the time of application.

Within 48 hours of the announcement of the Asgardia Space Nation project, more than 100,000 people applied for citizenship. So far, more than 1.5 million people from 200 countries have applied for it.

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nation in space

Asgardia’s space activities and plans for the future

After launching in 2016, Asgardia marked its first presence in space by launching the Asgardia-1 satellite in November 2017 from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Nanorock, a private US aerospace company, is behind the development of the satellite.

Asgardia-1 is a nanosate the size of a loaf of bread. One of the goals of this space mission is to demonstrate data storage on a solid state drive (SSD) in low Earth orbit. The Asgard-1 satellite has a 512 GB SSD, mostly containing family photos sent in by the approximately 18,000 members of the project.

Sometime in the future, Asgardia plans to settle a human colony in Earth orbit about 200 kilometers from the Earth’s surface. This could be achieved by building the International Space Station (ISS), which would cost billions of dollars and therefore seems financially unfeasible at the moment.


Problems with Asgardia

So far, we have discussed how Asgardia was born and what it has been able to achieve so far. It would seem that this idea seems noble, but in fact such an initiative is fraught with many problems.

Not approved by the UN

Neither the United Nations (UN) nor any other nation (on Earth, of course!) has endorsed Asgardia as a nation. Ashurbeyli claims his team is working closely with lawyers to bring the idea to the UN Security Council and get official recognition from Asgardia.

However, according to experts in space law (yes, there are such), “A state must have the following characteristics: a permanent population; a certain territory, government and the ability to enter into relations with other states. And this should be recognized by the state by other states.” This would be difficult, given that Asgardia does not have its own territory, at least not on Earth.

Asgardia has another major hurdle to overcome – the Outer Space Treaty, which is currently supported by 110 countries, including all major countries such as the US, Russia, China, etc. The treaty prohibits any country from claiming sovereignty in space, and also states that whenever a country or a company from that country sends a spacecraft into space, the space mission becomes a burden on the country. So, for example, if a satellite sent by SpaceX or NASA crashes into a Russian satellite, Russia could blame the US government for it and demand huge compensation.

Asgardia-1, the first space mission launched by Asgardia, was carried out in cooperation with US companies and launched by NASA. Thus, their mission was technically under US jurisdiction and not independent. Now the only way for Asgardia to get around the restrictions of the OST is to cooperate with countries that have not signed the treaty. These are mainly underdeveloped countries that do not have adequate infrastructure to launch space missions.

The idea of ​​creating a nation in space, where all citizens will have free access to space, regardless of their race, religion or education, is a promising and exciting idea. However, when you try to figure out its technical, financial and legal feasibility, the whole idea starts to seem like nothing more than a pipe dream. Perhaps in the future, Asgardia will somehow turn this utopian idea into reality, but at present, the nation exists only as a miniature satellite no larger than a loaf of bread!