You can sign up to be a citizen of the first nation state in space

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Space exploration may have a ways to go before us humans start colonising other planets, but in the meantime may we present a group of scientists who want to kick-start interstellar nations?

The team of scientists and legal experts proposed the formation of Asgardia, the first nation state in space – and you can sign up to be a citizen today.

Here’s how it works; the team plans to launch its first prototype satellite within the next two years, and that will form the basis of the new nation. It will be complete with a national flag and anthem, but naturally it will be difficult to visit.

Anybody who signs up to become a citizen of Asgardia will also be a citizen of their own country back here on earth. The legal ramifications of signing up still haven’t been explained, but once the citizenship intake reaches 100 000 people, the new Asgardian nation can apply to become a member of the United Nations.

“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,” Project lead Igor Ashurbeyli told The Guardian

As for the name? Well, its stems from the mythological place where Norse gods reside (allegedly -ed.).

“Asgardia – named in honour of an ancient mythological city in the skies – 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’,” it explained on the official website.

Why is this being done? To protect earth, of course.

“The ultimate aim is to create a legal platform to ensure protection of planet Earth and to provide access to space technologies for those who do not have that access at the moment.”

But as expected, there will be some legal issues along the way, as space isn’t really a free-for-all.

“It is an exciting development in many ways because it will be interesting to see how this goes. But there are formidable obstacles in international space law for them to overcome. What they are actually advocating is a complete re-visitation of the current space law framework,” said Christopher Newman, an expert in space law at the UK’s University of Sunderland.

At the time of writing, almost 36 000 people have signed up.

Charlie Fripp

Charlie Fripp

Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.