The First "Space Nation" Has Just Launched Its First Satellite

Asgardia's satellite launches onboard Orbital ATK Antares rocket at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017. NASA HQ PHOTO/Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

“My hope is that the parliament will be made up of people from all different backgrounds across the world. Together, they will be the engine that drives Asgardia forward into the next space age,” added Dr Ram Jakhu, an expert in space law at McGill University.

What does this all really mean though? Well, in the long-run, they want to start a nation whose physical territory exists totally off Earth's surface, namely in the form of a space station in Earth orbit that looks like its straight out of an old sci-fi comic. The satellite that’s just been launched is essentially a very small stepping stone to this end goal.

Not everyone is convinced, however. In October 2016, Popular Science wrote: “it is rather difficult to say whether Asgardia is a sincere effort with poor execution, a marketing scheme, or an absurd joke.”

Until now, Asgardia's work has seemed like a pipedream or perhaps a daring experimentation in space law. Even though its first satellite is now in orbit, we're still a long way from Asgardia having a seat at the UN.

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