[Image Source: Asgardia]
Living in space could soon become the new reality.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recently proposed a massive permanent space station to the Science of Space committee. UNESCO hopes the station will achieve world peace as well protect Earth from space debris and asteroids. The station has been dubbed "Asgardia," a nod to ancient Norse mythology's home of the gods.
The first Asgardia satellite is planned to be launched in just 18 months.
Would it be possible to form a new nation in space? As it turns out, the legal answer is 'yes.' Asgardia would be recognized as an independent nation and a member of the United Nations.
According to International Space Station law, however, the country that launches an object into space is responsible for it, including any damage it causes to earth. The Asgardia Project proposes all Asgardians would remain at citizens of their respective country. However, they will also be entitled to become duel citizens as part of Asgardia. Project lead Igor Ashubeyli told the Guardian:
“Physically the citizens of that nation state 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."
Very few programs exist today willing to take regular civilians into space. Virgin Galactic and SpaceX offer some of the most popular options for $250,000 USD.
So would this new frontier be the wild west, complete with outlaws and a make-your-own-justice mentality? The International Space Treaty requires companies to the liable for whatever happens upon launching a project into space, including its actions during the mission. Asgardia would have its own set of laws and regulations for safety. However, no one knows yet how those plans would be enforced.
How to Get Involved
If you're interested in becoming a citizen of Asgardia, sign up now. The first 100,000 people registered will become full-fledged Asgardian citizens. Due to popularity, only 7,000 spots remain as of this publication time. No word yet if additional citizens will be admitted.
The details currently remain hazy of exactly how a space civilization will be founded, maintained, and repopulated. Very little research has been conducted in the effect of space on the human body of long courses of time. Maintaining survivable amounts of oxygen and food is seemingly a difficult enough task. However, radiation could become the greatest threat to any space dweller.
The idea may seem ridiculous and perhaps is currently a little far-fetched, however, someday soon a civilization will enter space, never to return. It could spell a new chapter for humanity as we grow one step closer to finding the final frontier.
Written by Maverick Baker