Issue #4(14) 2017 Astronautics

Space nation's first orbiting satellite

Liftoff off the OA-8 Antares-Cygnus cargo carrier with the Asgardia-1 satellite.
Liftoff off the OA-8 Antares-Cygnus cargo carrier with the Asgardia-1 satellite.
Lena De Winne Asgardia, Vienna, Austria

The Asgardia space nation has embarked on its maiden flight, creating the first independent outer space territory in world history. The historic beginning of a new era in human settlement of the universe was marked by the Asgardia-1 satellite with the signal ‘Hello Igor’ on its activation in Earth orbit. The satellite carries 0.5 TB of data storage comprising the nation’s Constitution, national symbols and data uploaded by citizens.

Asgardia-1 was launched on 12 November 2017 from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia as a part of the OA-8 Antares- Cygnus mission to the International Space Station (ISS) and deployed after Cygnus completed its mission at the ISS and was placed into a higher orbit. Speaking from the launch site, Igor Ashurbeyli, Asgardia’s Head of Nation, said: “Asgardia-1 is the only one in the whole world which represents a new territory. As promised, and exactly 13 months after its founding, Asgardia is now in space. I believe that Asgardia-1 is the first step towards unifying humanity.”

Asgardia currently has more than 150,000 citizens in 215 Earthly countries, including 175 member states of the United Nations. Asgardians have confirmed the new calendar and voted on the flag, anthem and coat of arms, and adopted the Constitution. In addition, Asgardia’s cryptocurrency Solar, SOL has been registered with the European Union’s (EU) Intellectual Property Office.

Dr Ashurbeyli used the opportunity of attending the launch to meet with policy experts in Washington DC, discussing the next steps for Asgardia on its journey towards a full member of the United Nations (UN). Asgardia’s first parliamentary elections are being held in the first quarter of 2018 and, for the first time in history, elections to a parliament are based on language rather than borders. There will be a total of 150 MPs and the parliament will select and approve the government, supreme court and supreme space council, resulting in the inauguration of the first Head of Nation around the middle of 2018.

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