The physical existence of Asgardia, the first space nation, may soon become a crude reality. The nation, contained in a file server, will launch on Saturday, Nov. 11.
The First Space Nation
The birth of Asgardia as a space nation, announced in a press conference held in Paris last year, is a project led by Igor Ashurbeyli, founder of Vienna's Aerospace International Research Center and chairman of UNESCO's Science of Space committee.
Ashurbeyli previously shared that the project involves scientific, legal, and philosophical aspects.
"Asgardia is a full-fledged independent nation, and a future member of the United Nations, with all the attributes this status entails," said Ashurbeyli.
The project head has since encouraged people to become citizens of Asgardia, claiming that Earthlings who would live in the floating nation has the task of protecting the Earth from space threats ranging from solar flares, asteroids, and other space junk.
As of posting, the online nation has 111,883 Asgardians and is increasing by the minute.
The Asgardia-1 Satellite Launch
This Saturday, the small cubesat, about the size of a bread loaf will blast into space aboard the Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft. The said spacecraft will stop at the International Space Station. The Cygnus will have to wait 30 days before it can detach from the ISS and go into a higher altitude to deploy the Asgardia-1 satellite.
The satellite will carry a hard disk with Asgardia's Constitution flag, coat-of-arms, and roughly 18,000 file data from its early citizens.
"Asgardia-1 will mark the beginning of a new space era, taking our citizens into space in virtual form, at first," shared Ashurbeyli. He claimed that the satellite will become the space nation's foundation stone that will create a network of satellites.
Since Asgardia's launch last year, the public's reception of the Russian nanoscientist's project remains mixed. Many experts in the field pointed out that claiming a space territory violates existing laws.
The Outer Space Treaty states that "outer space is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means."
The FAQ page of Asgardia's website states that the nation has plans of organizing and building man-made space arks and protective platforms that would safeguard Earth from a number of space hazards. It also mentions building settlements on the moon.
No one knows yet what the implications of the satellite or Asgardia's assertions to become a sovereign state will be but those who want to watch the launch can do so via NASA TV starting 4 a.m. PT on Nov. 11.