It was unveiled by a team of scientists and legal experts. Its objectives: “to democratize” space technologies, protect the Earth from dangerous asteroids and promote peace
ROME – It owes its name to an ancient mythological city in the skies, inhabited by the Norse gods, popularized by the legends of Odin and Thor. And it will become, write on the website of the initiative, “a post in orbit that is in the true sense of the word ‘a no man’s land'”. Welcome to Asgardia, the one that aspires to become the first space nation. A new state with its feet among the stars. The announcement was made by a team of scientists and lawyers specialized in the sector, who gave the news on Wednesday during a press conference in Paris. Bizarre idea, yes. But not really a boutade if you think that the group includes several experts of a certain prestige. Including the Russian Igor Ashurbeyli, founder of the Aerospace International Research Center in Vienna, a businessman and nanoscientist who was recently awarded a Medal of Honor by UNESCO for his work in the development of microelectric devices, IT systems and technologies.
“We have to leave Earth because it is in human nature,” said McWill University professor McWill University, with over thirty years of experience in space law, and one of the project’s financiers, on the US Business Insider website. “Humanity has moved from Africa and has populated the entire planet, where resources will end”. If you are convinced of it and want to secure a place in the nation, you can try to apply for citizenship. Anyone can do it, just register on the site of the initiative quickly enough: only the first 100 thousand users with a quick mouse will be lucky. In an interview with the Guardian Ashurbeyli he explained that “when we have reached such a number of requests we can officially ask the UN to recognize us as a state”. With a lot of flag: if you have an idea about it, you can submit it. The first step will be to launch a robotic satellite within the next 18 months, to be eventually followed by a permanent space station. How much funding is available to the project is still unknown.
Let it be clear, Asgardia is even more an abstraction than a fact and its immediate goal is to attract other scientists, engineers, talents and supporters for what is set up as a challenge to the current geopolitical landscape of the activities that take place much above our heads. At the moment, the Outer Space Treaty – the international treaty on the foundation of international aerospace law – states that the responsibility of objects shipped into space is the state that launched them. But the team behind Asgardia believes it can set a precedent, and shift that responsibility to the “space nation itself”.
Because if it is true that the conquest of the cosmos is no longer just the US and Russia, it is also true – continues Ashurbeyli – that “existing space agencies represent the interests of their countries and there are not so many countries in the world to have agencies space. ” So the project wants to “democratize” space technologies and “provide access to those technologies to those who do not have it”, concludes the nanoscientist. As well as freeing the space “from the restrictions of state control that currently exists”, adds the group in the press release issued.