The Space Kingdom of Asgardia, world’s first ‘space nation’, has launched its first satellites. A nation, free of the control of existing nations.

On November 12, Asgardia marked its presence in outer space by launching the Asgardia-1 satellite.

This satellite is actually a nanosat which is roughly the size of a loaf of bread. It contains half a terabyte of data belonging to 18,000 of Asgardia’s citizens. The data holds family photographs, digital representations of the space nation’s flag, coat of arms and constitution.

Asgardia-1 started its two-day journey from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, to the International Space Station (ISS).

Employees launched the nanosat aboard a Cygnus spacecraft on an Orbital ATK Antares rocket.

This idea of so-called ‘virtual nation’ comes from billionaire Russian computer scientist Dr. Igor Ashurbeyli. Last year, he proposed a ‘space nation’ which would be outside of the control of nations on Earth.

“I promised there would be a launch,” Dr. Ashurbeyli says. “We selected NASA as a reliable partner … because we have to meet the commitments that I made 13 months ago.”

Image credit: James Vaughan

Asgardia is free to join and so far, about 114,000 people have signed up.

Dr. Ashurbeyli explains that his project’s ambitious mission is to provide a “peaceful society”. It will also offer easier access to space technologies, and protect Earth from space threats, such as asteroids and man-made debris in space.

About the mission

On 14 November, NASA delivered Asgardia to the International Space Station (ISS). The satellite will have to wait for about three weeks as vital supplies and scientific equipment are transferred to the people of the ISS. Then, it will eventually be set free to orbit the Earth.

The nanosat will remain in orbit for between five and 18 months. It will then burn up and disappear.

Currently, no country in the world has recognized Asgardia as a nation. However, Dr. Ashurbeyli plans to convince the UN to recognize Asgardia as a sovereign nation with the hopes that someday they will build Asgardian colonies in space.

Thumbnail Credit: James Vaughan