By Prarthana Mitra
If you’re among the 2% of the world’s most “creative”, Asgardia is the place to be.
Founded less than two years ago, this newly formed nation-state already boasts of 200,000 citizens, a constitution, an elected parliament and is expected to be ready for permanent habitation within fifteen years.
It is also located in space, so that should be fun.
On Monday, June 25, 2018, Asgardians elected Russian billionaire and scientist Igor Ashurbeyli as their first head of state in Vienna, Austria.
All you need to know
Named after the land of Norse Gods, Asgardia hopes to establish permanent human settlement on the moon.
According to their website, artificial gravity-induced space arks will be operative by 2030 to build a population of 150 million within ten years. In 2017, Ashurbeyli confirmed that the first base would be a four-level orbital space station.
Reports have confirmed 200,000 applications from earthlings scattered across 200 countries already.
Applying for citizenship is online and free at present but Asgardia aims to create a utopian society for its citizens. On being asked about the criteria for recruiting “creative” residents, Ashurbeyli told Reuters, “Citizenship selection will continue. It might even involve IQ tests.”
While parts of their mission statement may sound like a cosmic joke, a lot of thought has been put into the practicalities of developing a nation. Funded by Ashurbeyli’s nonprofit Aerospace International Research Center (AIRC), Asgardians also collects an annual membership fee of 100 euros from its members who will also pay nominal business and income taxes in the near future.
Here’s what’s happening
“This day will certainly be recorded in the annals of the greatest events in the history of humankind,” Ashurbeyli said in his inaugural speech on Monday, adding, “We have thus established all branches of government. I can therefore declare with confidence that Asgardia – the first space nation of the united humankind – has been born”.
According to Independent, there were some familiar faces among the ranks Ashurbeyli’s government, most notably a former British MP Lembit Opik and Tory MP Nigel Evans.
With the means of this “global humanitarian project”, Asgardia hopes to colonise the moon. Having already launched a satellite into its orbit, the founders and backers are clearly quite serious about making this work, and their plans are ‘out of this world’.
Prarthana Mitra is a staff writer at Qrius.
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