The concept of a space nation is not all too bizarre to us. It’s a concept whose materialisation has carefully been taken into consideration which resulted in the establishment of international space laws and treaties to provide the nations a framework within which they could work.
Igor Ashurbeyli, he chairman of UNESCO’s Science of Space Committee, took it upon himself to provide inquisitive minds with a platform facilitating unrestricted research with absolute transparency. Being the founder of the Aerospace International Research Centre in Vienna, he decided to provide this platform in the form of a satellite based nation going by the name Asgardia. The establishment of Asgardia was fuelled by the want to cover three important aspects with reference to the use of space.
Asgardia will function as a no man’s land serving the entire humanity and looking beyond the discrimination on the basis of state, religion or nation. To sum up the philosophical principle governing Asgardia, in Asgardia, one is either an Earthling or an Asgardian. No other base for differentiation will exist and the protection of interests of both, the Asgardians and the Earthlings, will be the aim.
In the present world scenario the effective enforcement of international law seems to have gotten caught up in the web of personal interests and the incompetency of the present legal system to support such a utopian state. In order to break free from the shackles of the laws governing the land based countries, Asgardia’s core legal principle of Asgardia not interfering in earthly affairs and vice versa establishes a clear boundary between politics on earth and Asgardia’s political situation.
Asgardian citizenship has been made available to all people on Earth regardless of their Earthly jurisdiction but the first Asgardians are most likely to be people who work in the fields of space research and exploration.
In simpler terms, Asgardia wants to serve as a catalyst in the creation of a new legal platform in which International Space Law and Geopolitics is replaced with universal Space Law and Astropolitics.
The drive behind the undertaking of this project was undoubtedly the provision of an unfiltered access to knowledge about space, safety from cosmic threats and ensuring the peaceful use of space. Asgardia is an initiative to further the principle of knowledge being free in a non-militarized scientific base.
The essence of Asgardia is Peace in Space and the prevention of Earth’s conflicts being transferred into Space.
This brainchild of an eccentric scientist with about 5,73,889 citizens aims to be an independent nation recognized by the UN. It entails all the requirements for it recognized as a State except for land and thus one can expect the acceptance of its proposal. The launch of a low orbit satellite in 2017 will be the first step towards materialization of this intriguing concept for a nation. With a forum intact now, one can witness Asguardians actively communicating with one another.
However, one really cannot forget about the existing international space laws, essential ethical boundaries the problem of dual citizenship which shall arise after the official recognition of Asgardia as a nation. Only time can tell whether Asgardia will be the catalyst for a change or a change itself.