The renowned UK newspaper Express.co.uk offers an elaborate overview of the world’s first Space Nation’s current standing and mission. Its reporter Callum Hoare describes Dr Igor Ashurbeyli, Asgardia’s Head of Nation, as a magnate looking forward to launching a fleet of ‘cosmic Noah’s arks’, worth £100 billion each, who ‘has sought to prove this is more than just a sci-fi fantasy.’ The nation-building plan is to have 150 million Asgardians, 10% of them to become future space residents. As noted by Asgardia’s Chair of Parliament Lembit Öpik, ‘Lots of people are building rockets, Asgardia is about building the society to go with them.’
The British journalist names several prominent UK figures, including Lembit Öpik, Philip Appleby, and Nigel Evans, among the Nation’s top officials. According to Öpik, the executives’ duty is ‘to decide the rules and methods on everything from burials to taxation, from marriage to procreation.’ The first childbirth in space is one of Asgardia’s top priorities since ‘Humanity’s survival depends on our presence in space. To paraphrase Stephen Hawking, we either travel or die,’ brings up Lembit.
To grasp on the kind of criticism Asgardia’s venture draws, the author shares some comments from one of the project’s adversaries, who attributes the Nation’s communal effort to the leader’s alleged space dominance ambition. He believes the fact that ‘the company does face a legal minefield’ is due to a long-lasting story of the extraterrestrial sovereignty debate dating back to the Cold War and Space Race era and the Outer Space Treaty concluded between 109 countries and not ratified by another 23 ones.
To juxtapose Space Nation’s actual intentions to the opponent’s assumptions, the article observes that Asgardia’s pioneer attempts are expected to be challenged by ‘the battles ahead’ quoting Dr Lena De Winne, its Minister of Information and Communication, who emphasizes: ‘At its simplest, space must not become a new arena for conflict between nations competing to exercise sovereign power over the rest of the solar system.’
Currently, Asgardia is making its final arrangements to hold its First Space Science and Investment Congress in Darmstadt, Germany scheduled for October 2019 and hosting VIP guests like the MIT team, QinetiQ, and former NASA staff, to name just a few.
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