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Group announces plans to establish an independent nation in space

Yes, really

Last week, an international group of scientists and legal pros announced plans to establish an independent nation in space. And they invited all us average joes to sign up to become its citizens.

Named Asgardia—after the fabled realm of the Norse gods—the seemingly bonkers space country is actually a legit initiative launched by the Chair of UNESCO’s Science of Space Committee, Dr. Igor Ashurbeyli.

So far, more than 428,000 people have volunteered to become “Asgardians”—more than 300,000 more than the number necessary to apply to the United Nations for statehood, which is what Ashurbeyli plans to do next. After that? The country is already planning to launch its first preliminary satellite next year. The ambition is to one day provide earth with a protective space shield that will prevent collisions with space debris, asteroids, and man-made threats.

As an independent nation, Asgardia hopes to play a key role in keeping space safe for everyone, and not just a few wealthy or powerful human interests. “The essence of Asgardia is Peace in Space, and the prevention of Earth's conflicts being transferred into space,” said Ashurbeyli.

But before you start packing your bags for life aboard Asgardia’s future peace-loving space commune, you should know that no one actually gets to live there.

“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,” Ashurbeyli told The Guardian.

Via: The Guardian