The dream is grand: the first nation state in space. The name of this haven for technocracy is grander still: Asgardia, inspired by Asgard, heavenly home of the Nordic gods where lies the great hall, Valhalla.
But the start of this dream will be mundane: a small, prototype satellite in low Earth orbit to be launched by 2018 that will be the first piece of real estate in space this new space nation will own.
After the lawyers sort out all the legal niceties (such as marriage in space and laws governing human frailties such as murder), the scientists will set out to build what might be the biggest space station mankind has yet seen — Asgardia.
And Asgardia will build a planet wide shield protecting the Earth from end-of-the world asteroids, and probably an alien invasion.
The dream of Asgardia was launched yesterday by a small group of daring dreamers led by Russian citizen and businessman Igor Ashurbeyli, who once worked for a Russian state-owned firm that built missiles, tanks and other weapons for Putin’s army.
Ashurbeyli also founded the Aerospace International Research Center in Vienna and is currently the chairman of UNESCO’s Science of Space Committee. As a businessman, Ashurbeyli heads “Socium Holdings” a firm engaged in a wide variety of activities such weapons-making, military equipment and IT.
Asgardia “will offer an independent platform free from the constraint of a land-based country’s laws” said an explanation on the company website.
“Asgardia is the prototype of a free and unrestricted society which holds knowledge, intelligence and science at its core along with the recognition of the ultimate value of each human life. You can join like-minded people on this new.”
Asgardia, its founders claim, is an “exciting step in fostering an extended future for humankind.”
At a press conference in Paris on Oct. 12, Ashurbeyli said, “the scientific and technological component of the project can be explained in just three words: peace, access and protection.”
The men behind the concept of Asgardia want to ensure humanity has an independent “country” that prioritizes scientific advancement over political or commercial ambitions. In other words, Asgardia will be a technocracy, probably in the mould of Singapore, the most successful technocratic society on Earth.
“Asgardia will demonstrate to scientists throughout the world that independent, private and unrestricted research is possible.”
“Asgardia … will offer an independent platform free from the constraint of a land-based country’s laws. It will become a place it in orbit which is truly ‘no man’s land’.”