asgardia space nation orbital colony earth illustration

  • A non-governmental organization called Asgardia wants to become the first kingdom and nation in space.
  • On Wednesday, the group deployed its first satellite into orbit around Earth.
  • Asgardia claims the small satellite’s deployment means it is “the first nation to have all of its territory in space.”
  • Decades of work may remain before Asgardia can become a country recognized by the United Nations.

The self-declared Space Kingdom of Asgardia, a nation founded by a Russian aerospace engineer and billionaire, just deployed its first satellite into orbit.

Asgardia is currently a non-profit non-governmental organization based out of Vienna, Austria. But its leaders want to eventually build a kingdom in space that mines asteroids and defends planet Earth from meteorites, space debris, and other threats.

“Asgardia will be a space nation that is a trans-ethnic, trans-national, trans-religious, ethical, peaceful entity trying to settle the humanity in space,” Ram Jakhu, the director of McGill University’s Institute of Air and Space Law and one of Asgardia’s founding members, said during a June press briefing.

asgardia 1 nanosat space nation

Its new satellite is called Asgardia-1. The blocky object is technically called a nano satellite or “nanosat,” weighs about as much as a newborn baby, and is roughly the size of a bread loaf.

Asgardia‘s tiny spacecraft contains a 512-gigabyte hard drive loaded with “the nation’s constitution, national symbols, and the personally selected data of the Asgardian citizenship,” according to a statement emailed to Business Insider.

“Asgardia-1 has now been deployed in a low earth orbit,” the statement said, “making Asgardia the first nation to have all of its territory in space.”

Asgardia’s first satellite

The plan to launch the satellite was announced during a press briefing and June 13, and the effort was funded by Asgardia co-founder Igor Ashurbeyli, a Read More Here