Subscribe Free
in Space

'Asgardia' to become the first new Space Nation

Posted 13 October 2016 · Add Comment

Plans have been announced to create the first new Space Nation to be called 'Asgardia'.

The first Asgardia satellite is planned to be launched in Autumn 2017, sixty years after the first ever satellite launch, and will mark a new era in the Space Age as the satellite will be independent of any current nation state on Earth: the satellite will comprise the nation itself, creating its own legal framework, flag and other symbols of nationhood. 

The name derives from Norse mythology as the city of the skies ruled by Odin from Valhalla. 

The project team is being led by Dr Igor Ashurbeyli, one of the Russian Federation's most distinguished scientists and founder of the Aerospace International Research Center (AIRC) in Vienna. In a separate event in Paris yesterday [11 October 2016] he became chairman of UNESCO’s ‘Science of Space’ committee. Dr Ashurbeyli has consulted a group of globally renowned scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs and legal experts on the development of the concept.  

Dr Ashburbeyli said: “The project's concept comprises three parts – philosophical, legal and scientific/technological. 

“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. 

“Asgardia is also unique from a philosophical aspect – to serve entire 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 scientific and technological component of the project can be explained in just three words – peace, access and protection. 

“The scientific and technological envelope of Asgardia is a space arena for the scientific creativity of its citizens and companies in developing a broad range of future space technologies, products and services for humanity on Earth and humanity in Space.” 

The launch of the first Asgardia satellite is planned for 2017, with the project developing from there. Access to space is opening up, but the process remains slow and is tightly controlled by states on earth, restricting commerce and scientific developments in space by private enterprise. Of the 196 nation states on Earth, just thirteen (USSR, USA, France, Japan, China, UK, India, Russia, Ukraine, Israel, Iran, South Korea and North Korea) and one regional organisation (the European Space Agency, ESA) have independently launched satellites on their own indigenously developed launch vehicles.  

Professor David Alexander, Director of the Rice Space Institute at Rice University, Houston, Texas said: “As low-earth orbit becomes more accessible, what’s often called the “democratisation” of space, a pathway is opening up to new ideas and approaches from a rich diversity of participants. The mission of Asgardia to create opportunities for broader access to space, enabling non-traditional space nations to realise their scientific aspirations is exciting.” 

Under current international space law, including the widely adopted ‘Outer Space Treaty’, states are required to authorise and supervise national space activities, including the activities of commercial and not-for-profit organisations. Objects launched into space are subject to their nation of belonging and if a nation launches an object into space, that nation is responsible for any damage that occurs internationally and in outer space. 

The project is creating a new framework for ownership and nationhood in space, which will adapt current outer space laws governing responsibility, private ownership and enterprise so they are fit for purpose in the new era of space exploration. By creating a new Space Nation, private enterprise, innovation and the further development of space technology to support humanity will flourish free from the tight restrictions of state control that currently exist. 

Professor Ram Jakhu, Director, Institute of Air and Space Law at McGill University, Montreal, Canada said: “An appropriate and unique global space legal regime is indispensable for governing outer space in order to ensure it is explored on a sustainable basis for exclusively peaceful purposes and to the benefit of all humanity, including future generations living on planet earth and in outer space. The development of foundational principles of such a legal regime ought to take place at the same time as technological progress is being made.” 

One of the early developments planned by the Asgardia team will be the creation of a state-of-the-art protective shield for all humankind from cosmic manmade and natural threats to life on earth such as space debris, coronal mass ejections and asteroid collisions.  

There are estimated to be more than 20,000 traceable objects of man-made space debris (MSD) including non-active spacecraft, upper-stage rockets and final stage vehicles as well as fragments of craft that potentially pose a dangerous situation in near-Earth orbits. The impact of the Chelyabinsk meteorite which crashed over a major Russian town as recently as 2013, injuring 1100 people and damaging 4000 buildings, is a reminder of the threat that natural objects pose to life on the planet.  

Whilst steps have already been taken by the UN (through the International Asteroid Warning Network - IAWN) and the Space Mission Planning Advisory Group (SMPAG) to identify potentially hazardous scenarios, Asgardia will build on these developments to help offer a more comprehensive mechanism.  

The Asgardia Project Team will comprise a collaborative, multi-disciplinary effort from leading experts around the globe which it is envisaged will grow over time as the project evolves. But as well as expert involvement in the project, Asgardia is looking to capture the wider public imagination by crowd-sourcing key aspects of the project including involving members of the public in competitions to help design the nation’s flag, insignia and other symbols of nationhood.

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Leonardo and International Golden Group partner for cyber security in the Middle East

Leonardo and Abu Dhabi-based IGG (International Golden Group PJSC) have signed a strategic collaboration agreement to supply cyber security capabilities in the UAE.

AJW Technique shortlisted for five categories at the 2017 Top Shop Awards

AJW Technique, the maintenance hub for the AJW Group's component repair and overhaul service, has been selected as a finalist for five categories at the 145.com 2017 Top Shop Awards.

DC Aviation Al-Futtaim receives CAR145 approval extension from GCAA

DC Aviation Al-Futtaim (DCAF) has received an extension to its CAR145 approval from the UAE's General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) to provide line maintenance for the Dassault Falcon 7X aircraft type.

Emirates adds Phnom Penh to its network

Phnom Penh in Cambodia will be the latest destination Emirates will serve from July 1 this year, with a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in a two-class configuration.

Riyadh Travel Fair 2017 set to be Saudi Arabia's largest Travel and Tourism Event on record

Riyadh Travel Fair (RTF) 2017, Saudi Arabia's leading travel industry event, will open its doors for the ninth consecutive year, with the 2017 edition to be located at the Al Faisaliah Hotel, Riyadh from 7th – 10th April 2017.

IATA expands partnership with ENAC

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), in cooperation with the École nationale de l'aviation civile (ÉNAC), announced the expansion of their aviation training and education partnership to include aviation research

TAA SK 12MTHS16
See us at
IDEX BT180123022017Kuwait APADS BT1602270317Aviation Africa 2017 BT 23F17