Asgardia, The First “Space Nation,” Has Launched (Uh, Sort Of)


Last year I told you about the very Thor-sounding Asgardia—the proposed first “space nation” spearheaded by Russian businessman Igor Ashurbeyli. Well, it finally launched this past Saturday. Kinda. Sort of.

What actually launched was a Wonder Bread-sized “cubesat” (file server/satellite) named Asgardia-1—containing, among other things, Asgardia’s constitution, flag, database of its over 100,000 citizens, and citizen personal files (18,000 in all). Which is very interesting to me, because I believe in the future there will be an increasing trend in people shooting their most precious data into space.

Tweeted from @AsgardiaSpace

First, let’s see how Asgardia’s cubesat was launched, and then go into what it will be doing once it’s in space.

The file server was one of 14 others piggybacking on the Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft, which will be rendezvousing with the International Space Station for a month-long stay. Once Cygnus continues its journey on a higher altitude, Asgardia-1 will be launched into orbit.

But to what end?

According to Ashurbeyli, Asgardia-1:

will be our foundation stone, from which we will look to create a network of satellites that will help protect our planet against asteroids, solar flares, manmade space debris and other space hazards…

the Asgardian flag

While the whole Asgardia project at this point sounds a bit farfetched, the act of launching these information-laden files further and further into space is quite interesting! Think about it: if you had a chance to take all the photos, writing, and other files that were unique and important to you and launch them possibly into “immortality,” would you do it?

And what if you were able to send a complete virtual map of your brainwaves out there? Or create a neural link between some virtual scenario out in space and here on Earth?

There’s a lot of possibilities here.

That said, you should check out the official Asgardia website, as it’s quite the trip.