A team of scientists and legal experts is welcoming people to join the first space nation, Asgardia, coined as a "a global, unifying and humanitarian project."
According to Head of Nation Dr. Igor Ashurbeyli, the aim is for Asgardia to become a full-fledged independent nation, and a member of the United Nations. As a conflict-free no-man's land, Asgardia will mirror humanity in space, minus the divisiveness of states, religions and nations. With false divides collapsed, everyone will be equal regardless of the prosperity of the country they happened to be born in.
With today's commercialisation of space through activities such as asteroid mining, we risk seeing companies and nations at the forefront setting anti-competitive rules and monopolies. On the legal front, Asgardia seeks to create a ‘Universal space law’ and ‘astropolitics’ to protect the interests of developing nations as well as open up access to space technology.
Using protective shields Asgardia also wants to defend Earth against cosmic threats such as asteroids and space junk.
“Physically the citizens of that nation state (Asgardia) will be on Earth; they will be living in different countries on Earth, so they will be a citizen of their own country and at the same time they will be citizens of Asgardia.” - Igor Ashurbeyli via The Guardian. Technology, funding and legality wise, we are still a long way from seeing an Asgardian settlement floating in space, which Ashurbeyli believes to be vital to the future of humankind.
In the face of interspace-citizenships how will we layer our identities? Where there is a conflict between the two, where will our loyalties lie? Which nation's rights will be backed by real weight, that is something we can identify with, uphold and protect?
Throughout history there have been forces that have united people people across conceptual fault lines such as race, gender and national boundaries. Post-nation movements have been powered by sheer human tenacity as well as technologies like the internet and blockchain based open citizenship. Could a space nation built on equality and justice help to leapfrog this movement by reframing our view of how we are in fact one species (Earthlings), one civilisation?
Yet would the ideals of Asgardia be easily marred by the establishment of another space nation creating yet more divides?
As of 9 Mar 2017, 171,085 people have joined Agardia. I have applied for my citizenship, will you?
Interesting tidbit on how the Asgardian calendar differs from that of Earth: