Asgardia, the world's first space-based nation proposed by scientists, announced the formation of a government this week with a council of ministers to be drawn from the ranks of its new citizens.
The space nation will be governed by a council of 12 ministers who will be appointed by founding father Dr. Igor Ashurbeyli for the first few months until general elections can be held in June 2017.
The branches of the Asgardian government include the ministries of science, industry, space, youth and education, integration, information and communications, foreign affairs, trade and commerce, finance, safety and security, and justice. There is also a 12th yet-to-be-named ministry that will be drawn from suggestions on the Asgardian Facebook page.
Since the announcement of Asgardia's formation, the space nation has proved hugely popular with people around the world.
Ashurbeyli, from the Aerospace Research Center, announced the plan for a space-based nation Oct. 12, the same day he became chairman of UNESCO's Science of Space committee, according to the Asgardian website.
"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."In just over a week, the space nation has attracted more than 450,000 registered community members that Asgardia is calling citizens; offshoot groups; public forums; and even YouTube music videos and poems, reports Inverse.
"Asgardia is a fully fledged and independent nation, and a future member of the United Nations — with all the attributes this status entails. The essence of Asgardia is peace in space and the prevention of Earth's conflicts being transferred into space."Once the space nation has enough people interested in becoming citizens, Ashurbeyli will petition the U.N. for official recognition.A mere five days after the creation of Asgardia, after the space nation had garnered almost 400,000 applications, the newly formed country suffered a massive cyber attack as hackers attempted to penetrate security firewalls.
The newly formed space nation is still accepting applications for citizenship. For the moment Asgardia will be sending confirmation emails to confirm community membership, but after U.N. recognition, the country will be offering passports similar to those issued by ground-based nations.
So far, Asgardia has no plans to move its citizens into orbit, but the space nation does have plans to launch a satellite in 2017-2018 to circle the Earth and coincide with the 60th anniversary of the world's first satellite.The idea of a space-based nation that doesn't have any ties to historical ground-based nations has sparked discussions worldwide on topics ranging from religion in space to gender recognition.
"The essence of Asgardia is Peace in Space, and the prevention of Earth's conflicts being transferred into space. Asgardia is also unique from a philosophical aspect – to serve humanity and each and everyone, regardless of his or her personal welfare and the prosperity of the country where they happened to be born."The space-based nation aims to create a mirror of humanity, but without the earthly divisions between citizens of today's ground-based countries. It also plans to serve as a framework for reconsideration of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, according to the Asgardia website.
"New space law has to equally protect the interests of every human being on Earth."Asgardia doesn't recognize international boundaries and chooses to draw community members and future citizens from around the world, but for the moment they have set up national chapters and regional coordination centers.
So far there are national Asgardia chapters in the U.K., Brazil, Italy, Sweden, Germany, Turkey, and Belgium, but none in the United States.
Asgardia is also holding competitions on Facebook to decided on a national flag, anthem, and symbol.
The space-based nation has drawn the greatest number of citizenship applications from China, with almost 130,000 members; the U.S. is second with about 52,000 followed by Turkey with almost 40,000.
Currently the project is paid for entirely through private funds, but soon the space nation will begin crowd-funding efforts.
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[Featured Image by Daniela Mangiuca/iStock]