Being a citizen of an Earth-based nation has its advantages, but wouldn’t you like to be a citizen of space? Now you can with the announcement of Asgardia, a nation based entirely in space. Asgardia will launch a satellite next year, which will serve as its sole territory, and you can be a citizen. You won’t actually move away from your current terrestrial home—it’s sort of a symbolic thing. Asgardia, a name derived from the home of the old Norse gods, is a project headed by Russia nanoscientist Dr. Igor Ashurbeyli. He’s not a complete unknown; Ashurbeyli is the founder of the Aerospace International Research Center and chairman of UNESCO’s Science of Space committee. So, he’s a guy who cares deeply about science and human activity in space. The immediate goal of Asgardia is to get 100,000 citizens, at which time it will apply for recognition by the United Nations. Asgardia will be holding a contest for its citizens to help choose its flag, anthem, and insignia as well. The winners of the contest will be able to have a personal message included on the Asgardia satellite when it’s launched. The ultimate goal of Asgardia is to increase access to space and promote efforts to protect Earth from asteroids and space debris impact. A lofty objective to be sure, but it’s going to have a hard time being taken seriously.AdChoices广告Who will save us from asteroids? Maybe the Asgardians.In order to be recognized by the UN, nations need to meet several requirements. Having territory and citizens are up there, but there also needs to be support from member states that also recognize the nation in question. When Asgardia’s only “territory” is an uninhabited satellite, it’s unlikely it will get that kind of support. If it ever did get recognition, Asgardia would be able to operate in space as it pleases, rather than be bound by the rules of the Outer Space Treaty, which requires oversight by the nation in which a space project is based. Asgardia is over halfway to the 100,000 citizen count, but that’s only the first hurdle.