- 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.
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.”