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The First Proposed “Space Nation” is Accepting Applications

Asgardia

[DIGEST: IFL Science, New Atlas, Science Alert, The Guardian, Space.com]

Disgruntled nationals looking to escape their native countries may soon have a new option: space.

More than 500,000 people have submitted “citizenship applications” for the Official Space Kingdom of Asgardia, a theoretical orbital space station and moon colony with its own government, constitution, and calendar, including holidays such as Asgardian National Unity Day and “Year Day.”

Though the concept of Asgardia was announced in late 2016 by Russian scientist Dr. Igor Ashurbeyli, Asgardia’s self-appointed head of state, the idea gained further legitimacy at a June 13 press conference in Hong Kong when Ashurbeyli announced plans to deploy Asgardia’s first satellite, Asgardia-1, this September.

The Asgardia-1, essentially a floating hard drive, measures about 3.9-by-7.9-by-7.9 inches — about the size of a loaf of bread. The first 100,000 confirmed citizens of Asgardia will supposedly be able to upload 300 KB of data to the satellite, while the next 400,000 will receive 200 KB, and another million will be allowed 100 KB.

Houston, Texas-based company NanoRacks is responsible for launching the device — a type of nanosatellite known as a CubeSat — to the International Space Station, from which it will deploy into orbit approximately 310 miles above Earth.

“Asgardia-1 will contain data stored for free for up to 1.5 million Asgardians,” said Ashurbeyli in a statement. “These are historic days, and your names and data will forever stay in the memory of the new space humanity, as they will be reinstalled on every new Asgardia satellite we launch.”

At the press conference, Ashurbeyli also released elaborate illustrations of the proposed multi-level space station, which have been described by various media outlets as both a

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  • Kat Merck is a freelance writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. An amateur naturalist who studied forestry and natural resources at Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, she writes on a wide range of topics for local and national publications.

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