There are many reasons to feel disenchanted with the way things are going down here on Earth right now, which makes it slightly less surprising that some humans are planning to distance themselves from our planet in a whole new way. More importantly, they’re now actively looking for people to join them.
Asgardia is a new movement that hopes to create the first nation to be entirely based in the vacuum of space, and they’ve just announced that they have started taking applications for citizenship. The announcement was made at a recent press conference, during which the group discussed plans to create a space station in Low-Earth-Orbit that could house up to 100 million Asgardia citizens.
According to Asgardia’s official website , the space-based nation hopes to prevent Earth’s conflicts from seeping into the future colonization of space. “On Asgardia, we’re all Earthlings” is the optimistic motto that Asgardia’s founders hope will see their nation shrug off the many border disputes and ethnoreligious differences that have plagued our planet for centuries.
Igor Ashurbeyli, Asgardia’s founder, announced that the nation was now looking for its first 100,000 citizens, with applications being opened up to the public via the form on the official site. Within just three days of the announcement, close to 300,000 people had applied for Asgardian citizenship. At the time of writing, over half a million Earthlings had joined this ambitious cause.
If you’re keen to successfully become part of this sci-fi utopia, you must first be a citizen of a country that accepts multiple nationality passports. If you check that particular box, your odds will then be improved by being able to offer up a particular set of skills to your future nation. We’re not talking ‘Liam Neeson in Taken’ skills here, we’re talking ‘Mark Watney in The Martian’ skills. If you currently work in the space industry, your chances of becoming accepted into Asgardia’s first wave will be greatly increased, but that’s not to say this is an exclusive club.
Asgardian followers both avid and casual can even make their mark on the project before it leaves Earth. Asgardia’s founders have now opened up a vote to decide on the nation’s flag, with designs ranging from classic sci-fi cool:
To those that appropriately (given the nation’s name) resemble a Stargate.
Whether or not Asgardia ever truly gets off the ground remains to be seen, but Ashurbeyli says there are plans for the first Asgardian satellite to be launched as soon as next year. And here comes the catch: Asgardia’s first citizens will be expected to cover the cost of this first satellite launch, despite the fact that Ashurbeyli says the movement is 100% funded.
Other than sounding a little like one of the world’s coolest, most extravagant pyramid schemes, Asgardia actually has some decent end products in mind. Protecting Earth from the threat of asteroid impacts and coronal mass ejections are just a couple of Asgardia’s planned missions. So, whether you’re looking to leave this planet or stay on it, Asgardia’s success or failure is probably something you should be monitoring in the near future.