01 July, 2018
Anyone who wishes to truly get away from life on Earth may want to consider becoming a citizen of Asgardia. The nation hopes to build a permanent settlement on the moon.
Asgardia was founded in 2016. Its organizers say it has about 200,000 citizens. It also has a constitution and an elected parliament. Asgardia's leader is Igor Ashurbeyli. He is a Russian engineer, computer scientist and businessman. He was inaugurated June 25.
Asgardians have big plans. They want to build up a population of 150 million people within 10 years. They also plan to operate space ships in outer space where humans can live permanently.
Ashurbeyli gave his first speech as president to several hundred people in Vienna, Austria. In the speech, he said "This day will certainly be recorded in the annals of the greatest events in the history of humankind."
He added, "We have thus established all branches of government. I can therefore declare with confidence that Asgardia – the first space nation of the united humankind – has been born."
Asgardia is named after Asgard, a world in the sky in the ancient mythology of Northern Europe.
Organizers say Asgardia has citizens who now live in more than 200 countries. A person can become a citizen online for free.
Asgardians say they want to interest the 2 percent of the world's population that is "most creative."
Ashurbeyli said he wants to have satellites providing worldwide Internet access in five to seven years. He also wants space ships operating in 10 to 15 years, and to establish a permanent settlement on the moon within 25 years.
Asgardians now pay a yearly membership fee of about $125. The nation plans to collect taxes on businesses and private income. But it says those taxes will be kept very low.
I'm Jonathan Evans.
Jonathan Evans adapted this story based on a report from Reuters. Mario Ritter was the editor.
Words in This Story
inaugurate – v. to introduce someone, such as a newly elected official into a job or position with a formal ceremony
annals –n. historical records
mythology – n. the myths of a particular group or culture