Taking up space: Citizens wanted for first ‘space nation’ Asgardia

Don’t want to live on this planet anymore? Spots are filling up to become a citizen of Asgardia, where earthly strife is forgotten. The man behind the concept expects to be called a “crazy Russian rocket scientist,” but nonetheless, he has set up a contest to create a new flag, insignia and anthem anyway.

Dr. Igor Ashurbeyli announced his vision of the first stellar society in a speech on Wednesday in Paris, France. Asgardia, named after the mythological Norse sky city of Asgard, aims to become a reality at some point after a satellite launch planned for October 4, 2017, the 60th anniversary of the launch of the Soviet Union’s Sputnik 1, the first artificial Earth satellite.

Already 90 percent of the 100,000 applications to become founding citizens of the “space nation” have been submitted. And contests for a national anthem, flag and insignia are underway. Entries are due by January 20, 2017.

“The essence of Asgardia is peace in space and the prevention of Earth’s conflicts being transferred into space,” Dr. Ashurbeyli said in the announcement speech, according to Room Space Journal. “Asgardia is also unique from a philosophical aspect – to serve all humanity and each and every one, regardless of his or her personal welfare and the prosperity of the country where they happened to be born.”

Prospective citizens need to be at least 18 years old. The signup form also requires an email address.

Ashurbeyli is the founder of the Aerospace International Research Center (AIRC) in Vienna and is chairman of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Science of Space committee. He anticipates media reports to consider him “some crazy Russian rocket scientist” who “talked utter nonsense,”according to the Raycom News Network.

Before shooting for the stars, however, Ashurbeyli seeks official Earthling recognition for the “space nation” from the United Nations.

“Physically, the citizens of that nation state will be on Earth; they will be living in different countries on Earth, so they will be a citizen of their own country and at the same time they will be citizens of Asgardia,” he told the Guardian. “When the number of those applications goes above 100,000, we can officially apply to the UN for the status of state.”

The celestial community would be founded with the aim of preserving space or exploiting it peacefully as well as guarding Earth from heavenly hazards like asteroids, sun storms or man-made debris. Part of the plan includes a demilitarized space for further study and the education of the universe.

“Asgardia is the prototype of a free and unrestricted society which holds knowledge, intelligence and science at its core along with the recognition of the ultimate value of each human life. You can join like-minded people on this new exciting step in fostering an extended future for humankind,” the Asgardia website says. “The journey begins!”