The idea of human’s moving to space goes back at least to the 1950s with the beginning of the modern science fiction genre. The Moon, and then Mars being the most popular and likely options in terms of proximity if not the issue of breathable air. As the social and environmental context on Earth, continued to worsen as the 20th century went on, people looked more to the stars for a viable alternative, everything from Total Recall (both the original Philip K. Dick novel We Can Remember It For You Wholesale and the scandalously better known ‘film’) to Iron Sky (a post-irony satire of classic science fiction themes), having this notion as a major element.
There was even a point in the 1970s when such themes branched out and became features of some of the best and best know songs of the day, surprisingly performed mostly by British artists. From the pessimistic David Bowie tracks ‘Space Oddity’ and ‘Life On Mars’, to the lovesong/drug anthem in disugise ‘Walking On the Moon’ by the Police, to the deeply affecting and quasi-religious ‘A Spaceman Came Travelling’ by Chris de Burgh. While there have been a long-standing feuds between the fans of each it turns out that Star Trek, at least the Deep Space 9 iteration of it, is a more accurate reflection of the future of humanity than Star Wars despite that old ‘a long, long time ago’ loophole.
In a startling announcement in Paris in October of 2016, a team of project leaders who are either crazy or brilliant (the line between the two often being razor thin) stated that they have concrete plans and are, in fact, already accepting application’s for citizenship in the first Space Nation in the history of humanity.
Fiction and Fact
While indeed swooningly exciting, the term Space Nation maybe just a bit of an over-statement or, perhaps, a typo, as what we are actually looking at is basically a chain of livable spaces stations, the first to be launched this year with other, much larger one’s joining later. The primary difference between the mega station on offer known as ‘Asgardia’ after Asgard the home of the gods in Norse mythology, and something like the International Space Station, is size. The Asgardia project is claimed to be able to accommodate 150 million people. So while there may not be life on Mars, there could well one day be life orbiting it.
By the numbers
While not exactly a rush, there has certainly been interest with over 84,000 people already having applied for ‘citizenship’. At least partly because while still falling short of official nationhood there is a pesky rule, made up by boring people in suites with nothing else to do but make up rules, that in order to become a member of Asgardia’s brave new world, one must be from a country that allows for multiple citizenships.
Is this space nation a brave new world (order?)
Quick to quell any fears of a possible, impeding galactic dictatorship project leader Igor Ashurbeyli, a Russian businessman and scientist, no that is not a misprint, has been quick to declare that the new space state will be run as a democracy with an emphasis on individual freedom, apparently unaware of what is commonly said about good intentions.