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New nation state 'Asgardia' to be launched into space on a satellite

Ever wanted to jack it all in and move to another country? Allow me to recommend Asgardia. It promises prospective citizens peace, access and protection, regardless of their personal riches or the prosperity of the country where they were born. The only drawback: it doesn't have any oxygen.

To be clear, the whole thing is just a concept right now - the creation of a group of scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs and legal experts. Named after the city of the skies ruled by Odin in Norse mythology, the group initially plans to launch the nation aboard a satellite in 2017, but project leader Igor Ashurbeyli has bigger plans than that for the long-term.

Tight control

“The project's concept comprises three parts – philosophical, legal and scientific/technological,“ he told Techradar. 

Ashurbeyli complains about the tight control that Earth's nations have on space, restricting commerce and scientific developments by private enterprise. 

“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," he said.

Early priorities for Asgardian technological development will be the creation of a protective shield for all of humankind against manmade and natural threats to life on Earth, such as space debris, coronal mass ejections and asteroid collisions. 

Prospective citizens

The group is currently recruiting prospective citizens from Earth, who can sign up on the project's website. At the time of writing, 33,105 brave souls have put their name down - a little more than the population of Gibraltar. Join them, and you'll be able to participate in competitions to design the nation's flag, insignia and national anthem.

"The essence of Asgardia is Peace in Space, and the prevention of Earth’s conflicts being transferred into space," said Ashurbeyli. 

"Asgardia is a fully-fledged and independent nation, and a future member of the United Nations - with all the attributes this status entails."

Duncan Geere is TechRadar's science writer. Every day he finds the most interesting science news and explains why you should care. You can read more of his stories here, and you can find him on Twitter under the handle @duncangeere.