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Space Earth Idle

Asgardia Becomes the First Nation Deployed in Space (cnet.com) 176

An anonymous reader quotes CNET: An Orbital ATK Antares rocket carrying a cubesat named Asgardia-1 launched from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia early Sunday. The milk carton-sized satellite makes up the entirety of territory of the self-proclaimed "Space Kingdom" of Asgardia... Over 300,000 people signed up online to become "citizens" of the nation over the last year. The main privilege of citizenship so far involves the right to upload data to Asgardia-1 for safekeeping in orbit, seemingly far away from the pesky governments and laws of Earth-bound countries...

As of now, Asgardia's statehood isn't acknowledged by any other actual countries or the United Nations, and it doesn't really even fit the definition of a nation since it's not possible for a human to physically live in Asgardia. Not yet, at least. The long-term vision for Asgardia includes human settlements in space, on the moon and perhaps even more distant colonies.

On Tuesday Orbital ATK's spacecraft will dock with the International Space Station for a one-month re-supply mission -- then blast higher into orbit to deploy the space kingdom's satellite. "Asgardia space kingdom has now established its sovereign territory in space," read an online statement.

Next the space kingdom plans to hold elections for 150 Members of Parliament.

Asgardia Becomes the First Nation Deployed in Space

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 13, 2017 @03:48AM (#55538971)

    HIGHLIGHTS from the Terms of service at https://asgardia.space/en/page/terms-of-service

    "All disputes regarding these Terms of Service, with the exception of copyright claims, will be settled by arbitration in Austria, under its laws."

  • Pirate Bay Haven (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mentil ( 1748130 ) on Monday November 13, 2017 @03:49AM (#55538975)

    The Pirate Bay had little luck trying to base their data out of Sealand, maybe they'll try again... IN SPAAAAACE!
    I'd like to see the MAFIAA try to get their cronies to raid a satellite.
    I expect that the nationality of the owner would determine the jurisdiction for crimes done involving storing data on the satellite, with a similar situation to Pitcairn Island.

    • Damn. For a second there, I read that as Picard Island. There's already Riker Island, after all.

    • I'd like to see the MAFIAA try to get their cronies to raid a satellite.

      Since the satellite is the legal responsibility of the nation of the owners-or-record, they'll have very little problem. And the ground stations, control system, and other infrastructure are here on the ground... Again, no problem.

    • Sealand at least has the advantage of having people.

      Pitcairn Islands is a British Overseas Territory. Also it is a real place, with people. People accused of crimes there are tried under UK legal authority. In fact about 10 years ago they built a prison on the island to hold some of them.

      It is going to be hard to convince any other jurisdiction that a place that has never had any people has legal citizens; you weren't born there, your parents weren't born there, and there is no embassy or consulate. You cer

  • I am Asgardian (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Yes i am. It's just fun, total bullshit, but a good idea, if it is fine right

    • Yes i am. It's just fun, total bullshit, but a good idea, if it is fine right

      It would be interesting if Earth-bound governments started enforcing the concept that you cannot swear 'true faith and allegiance" to more than one country at a time, and start cancelling the Earth-bound citizenships of anyone who adopts Asgardia. "You're not a citizen of the US? Where's your immigration paperwork? Oh, you don't have any? Well .... hi ho, hi ho, it's off to Gitmo you go..." Lotsa fun. I laugh all day.

      • by Shotgun ( 30919 )

        True story.

        My wife is from Poland, and has dual citizenship with the US and Russia. She is now trying to denounce her Russian citizenship, because Russia is no longer recognizing dual citizenship. We want to go to St. Petersburg to see her family, but if she does without renouncing, she will be jailed.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Monday November 13, 2017 @03:58AM (#55539003)

    As I recall, didn’t the Asgard commit mass suicide?

    • by Meneth ( 872868 )
      The Stargate SG-1 race, yes. I saw another Asgard get blown up by Surtr last week.
    • No. Most of the Asgard became enlightened, and "Ascended" to another more advanced form of existence. Those who remained were the ones at an evolutionary dead end because they had altered their DNA too much for them to Ascend; and furthermore they also could no longer reproduce, and were all going to die from the DNA problems. Most of them elected to destroy their outposts to prevent the technology from falling into evil hands and causing a horrible legacy. They blew up their main remaining planet. But it w

  • by vlad30 ( 44644 ) on Monday November 13, 2017 @04:00AM (#55539007)
    Now if it isn't recognized officially could you still get elected to the parliament or would the federal court consider this dual citizenship as 300,000 people have declared themselves citizens of Asgardia
    • by TimSSG ( 1068536 )
      Of course you can get elected to the Australian parliament; now, whether it would be valid, if challenged, is another question. Tim S.

      Now if it isn't recognized officially could you still get elected to the parliament or would the federal court consider this dual citizenship as 300,000 people have declared themselves citizens of Asgardia

  • Next thing we know their entire population will all be mining asteroids and will be so sensitive to gravity that their bones will crack on Earth. No thanks. Call me when there is nation on Mars.

    • Martians will only suffer and die slowly on Earth, their bones won't actually crack. So good call!

      I can tell you this much; Mars is going to have humans on it long before this satellite does!

  • Non-Story (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Gussington ( 4512999 )
    So the first nation isn't a nation by any definition yet here we are...
    Fuck Slashdot
    • Is this the next step in the Sovereign Citizen movement?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by bradley13 ( 1118935 )

      Geez, who peed in your breakfast cereal?

    • Depends. Did those 300,000 people pay any money, and if so, was it implied there'd be some kind of legal immunity for what they do with the satellite?

      Because, if so, there's a story here about fraud and gullibility. There is zero chance of an uninhabitable region of space being recognized as a nation, yet people are buying the claim that this has any legitimacy.

      • I guess some people contributed, otherwise I wonder who payed for the launch.
        However there was no fee or payment involved when I joined.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      More interesting (to me) is this offer to upload data to the satellite.

      Do they check the data before it is sent? I hope so, otherwise they are going to be the first to host a bunch of 4chan memes and child porn in space.

      • Worse, under what legal jurisdiction are they when they're doing the checking?

        If a country doesn't have any land, it doesn't have any anything. It doesn't have activities that happened there. The activities that "happened" will have "happened" in the places where the humans were!

  • by deviated_prevert ( 1146403 ) on Monday November 13, 2017 @04:38AM (#55539081) Journal
    Soon the rich will be able to form holding companies and tax haven banks in space if this imaginary nation state is recognized. Could be the answer to the offshore tax havens needing to increase tax rates to pay for hurricane damage. Some are increasing their rates because of the increased costs of services in remote places and the simple fact that they also have to employ large numbers of expensive armed guards and costly security specialists to secure the gold vaults. The only thing that secretive offshore tax havens are really good at is hiding away physical assets like gold, not today's digital capital which any bank registered in these places can do. Yes they really are the new Pirates of the Caribbean.

    How could they also achieve space tax heavens? Simply assign a value of a certain weight of land held gold to the space craft then like bit coin issues trade it in units that can be exchanged without government oversight essentially a unit based barter system for the very rich members who buy into the schemes. Essentially a new gold standard of exchange overstepping the US Fed and becoming a viable and stable means of exchange exclusively for the very rich.

    • by swb ( 14022 )

      Do tax havens really hold assets in gold?

      I would think that would be too volatile and kind of bulky, not to mention high risk to move around. Apple's $236 billion cash hoard in Jersey would be something like 300 cubic meters of gold.

      • No bank is holding an "account balance" in gold.
        Why would they?

        The total amount of gold on the planet is probably less than 1000 cubic meters. (I mean mined gold, not remaining gold in the crust).

        • Actually, a little more than 8,500 cubic meters have been mined (165,000 metric tons, a cubic meter of gold is 19.3 tons). At current prices, that's around $8.5 trillion.

        • by swb ( 14022 )

          I didn't think so, but I was responding to the parent poster's comment about "guards to guard the gold vaults".

          It does kind of pique my interest generally how a place like Jersey holds Apple's $236 billion cash hoard and what the financial mechanics are of moving that kind of money across international borders and what actual form it takes, and what the security associated with it is.

          My guess would just be electronic accounts tied to US treasury instruments, but the security gets to be kind of interesting a

          • I didn't think so, but I was responding to the parent poster's comment about "guards to guard the gold vaults".

            It does kind of pique my interest generally how a place like Jersey holds Apple's $236 billion cash hoard and what the financial mechanics are of moving that kind of money across international borders and what actual form it takes, and what the security associated with it is.

            My guess would just be electronic accounts tied to US treasury instruments, but the security gets to be kind of interesting as Jersey is something of an independent nation. What would happen if the Jersey government and bank officials were coerced into seizing those assets under some kind of US tax probe?

            The whole point was to base the shares on land based gold holdings not US Treasury Bond issues. The exchange charges would be the income for the individual banks, thus slowly inflating the net value of the satellite transaction data past that of the original gold holding. Hell if the satellite was shot up or failed they could just launch a new one to replace it that way.

            Today's ultra rich .1% like to hide away assets and have a penchant for exchanging bond holdings for gold and other precious commodities w

            • by swb ( 14022 )

              I can't imagine gold as a great way to store wealth unless you plan to hold it for an extremely long time. I think it has too much near-term volatility to be much more than a long-horizon store of wealth.

          • The mechanics are, they write down on a piece of paper that that is where the money was earned, and they keep it in a real bank somewhere else.

            The actual money went from a customer to the entity that they use to manage their CC merchant accounts. They just have some paperwork somewhere else that says, "Oh, that money is really owned by a whole different corporation!" and they just transfer it to another bank account they control at the same bank.

            For actual humans, it is equivalent to moving money from your

      • In the book Cryptonomicon they do!

        On planet Earth? Not so much!

    • by No Longer an AC ( 4611353 ) on Monday November 13, 2017 @06:57AM (#55539433)

      Soon the rich will be able to form holding companies and tax haven banks in space

      Yeah, screw offshore accounts.

      A new life awaits you in the off-world colonies. The chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure.

      (and tax havens).

      I don't suppose the FDIC covers off-world banks.

      • Soon the rich will be able to form holding companies and tax haven banks in space

        Yeah, screw offshore accounts.

        A new life awaits you in the off-world colonies. The chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure.

        (and tax havens).

        I don't suppose the FDIC covers off-world banks.

        The FDIC already does not cover the majority of off shore tax havens, physical assets do and that is the problem they pose for the Fed. What has been going on with asset transfer to gold has caused the recent inflation in the value of gold and the vast majority of gold ain't in Fort Knox anymore as the Fed would like us to believe. There are other physical assets being held offshore in some of these so called "banks" as well as gold, it is possible to have very large safety deposits that can be evaluated fo

  • by Required Snark ( 1702878 ) on Monday November 13, 2017 @04:45AM (#55539101)
    Great business climate, a diligent work force, lots of room to grow and bring up your family right.

    Give me a call when you realize that My Little Pony is not a documentary.

  • By declaring yourself a country you recognize the legitimacy of a ruling class.
    The real solution of our problems can come when we can get people to give up on the belief in statism.
    Which has no moral validity. Nor does it solve any problem.
    It's sad that even people who woke up from the fairy tale of religion still believe in the fairy tale of governments.
    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      Smash the state! Yeah, man, pass the bong! Anitfa 4 Lyfe!

      The real smash the state is being done these days by people like Trump and Steve Bannon. [cnbc.com] Be careful what you ask for.

      "There's an elephant in the room with us today. We have studiously attempted to work our way around it and even left it unremarked. But the fact is... executive bureaucracies (are permitted) to swallow huge amounts of core judicial and legislative power and concentrate federal power in a way that seems more than a little difficult to

      • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

        And people still say that the deep state doesn't exist.

        The "deep state" is one of those vague-sounding phrases that means whatever you really want it to mean, and you can blame just about any action on it without needing any proof that the "deep state" exists. The wonderful thing about conspiracy theories is that any evidence of them is damning, and lack of evidence is even more proof of the influence they wield.

      • Antifa wants the state to hold their hand and create a safe space, that's only going to increase the power of government.
    • by Viol8 ( 599362 )

      Cut and pasted from some undergraduate anarchist society leaflet was thats?

      Human nature is tribal and possesive of land, and humans divide into leaders and followers. This alone gives rise to rulers and states and leaderless consensus has failed in every single off-the-grid hippy commune its been tried in. If you think otherwise then you're either a naive adolescent/student or a fool.

      • I guess as a statist you buy into the propaganda that justifies government power.
        So I'll explain how everyone would benefit from the end of government, no danger!

        Most of this stuff comes from Larken Rose, here he explains how bad the state problem is:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
        What will happen is that the state governments take over from the federal government.
        They already have the potential to do everything a statist might want.
        But okay, lets assume that people give up on all rulers in one go
    • by bradley13 ( 1118935 ) on Monday November 13, 2017 @07:38AM (#55539537) Homepage

      You are overly cynical; governments do solve a problem. Or, at least, they are supposed to solve a problem. The primary purpose of a government is to promulgate and enforce rules on personal interactions; these are the laws. The secondary purpose is to provide the citizens a means of acting collectively, for example, to hire police to enforce those laws.

      In a free-wheeling anarchy (which is the libertarian utopia), there is no state, there is only private power. The dream is that the good folk will outnumber the bad folk, and be able to dominate the society. Nice dream, but human nature will ensure that this does not happen. Power will tend to accumulate in the hands of violent sociopaths. They may initially sell themselves as the hired protectors, but it won't be long before they demand protection money. Eventually, they will abuse the libertarian utopia to establish themselves as tyrants. By all reports, many people living under effective Mafia rule in Sicily are quite happy - as long as you are in the inner circle, it's great. It's less great for everyone else, especially those people who want to opt out of the protection racket, and get their kneecaps broken.

      Government is an attempt by the "good guys" to solve these problems. We haven't got it quite right yet - our governments take on lives of their own, and get out of control. The current batch is going to have to be replaced at some point (and the politicians losing power are not going to like this). But first, we need better ideas, and we don't have them:

      - The progressives yearning for communism, socialist or fascism (which is just socialism under another name) want to go backwards to stuff that worked even worse than what we have now.

      - The conservatives basically want to "conserve" what we have now, which has mutated into crony-capitalism.

      - The few libertarian idealists effectively want anarchy, which is the short road to tyranny.

      What we need is an incremental improvement on democracy and capitalism, because those systems are - so far - the best we have managed. Some iteration that limits the accumulation of money and power into the hands of the 1%, while at the same time avoiding "bread and circuses" for the populist masses. The development of this incremental improvement is left as an exercise for the reader :-)

      • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

        This is an absolutely fantastic post, absolutely not worth the Troll tag.

      • "You are overly cynical;"
        But right? This smells like you're only going to come up with bullshit excuses, like an apologist for a religion would.

        "governments do solve a problem."
        No they don't, just claim to.

        "Or, at least, they are supposed to solve a problem."
        Yes, we've heard many fairy tales on this.

        "The primary purpose of a government is to promulgate and enforce rules on personal interactions;"
        Wow that's extreme. Would that include these comments? Or must it be an interaction irl. Even though we
    • by dj245 ( 732906 )

      By declaring yourself a country you recognize the legitimacy of a ruling class. The real solution of our problems can come when we can get people to give up on the belief in statism. Which has no moral validity. Nor does it solve any problem. It's sad that even people who woke up from the fairy tale of religion still believe in the fairy tale of governments.

      A legitimate purpose of government in my opinion is to solve problems caused by the tragedy of the commons. The free market or individuals cannot solve such problems easily. A good example is lighthouses.

      Most people would recognizes that lighthouses are needed, but if governments did not build them, who would? Anyone can make use of a lighthouse, so if a shipping company built them, they would be at a competitive disadvantage compared to other companies who did not incur the expense. You could argue t

      • Most people would recognizes that lighthouses are needed, but if governments did not build them, who would?

        Not the best example, perhaps, since private lighthouses have existed, as pointed out by R. H. Coase in his article The Lighthouse in Economics [uchicago.edu] in the October 1974 issue of The Journal of Law and Economics. There are any number of ways that so-called "public goods" can be provided without resorting to force.

        By the way, the situation you described is not "the tragedy of the commons", which is invariably a product of interference in the market, but is rather generally referred to as the "free rider problem".

        • To give an example, overfishing is an example of tragedy of the commons. It's in everyone's individual financial interest to overfish, but when everyone overfishes everyone is worse off.

          It would be theoretically possible to divide fishing grounds into territories for each fishing boat, but the fish would not respect the boundaries. It would still be economically rational to overfish, since fish will be coming from neighboring territories.

          It's in a business's interest to pollute because it's cheaper t

    • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

      The real solution of our problems can come when we can get people to give up on the belief in statism.
      Which has no moral validity. Nor does it solve any problem.

      "The government" is the only real alternative to "gangs which enforce their own laws." You get one of the two. You're not getting a third option.

      • Government is a gang, the delusion of statism means people view their crimes as legitimate.
        It's just a guarantee that you get violently oppressed.
        Note that the worst organized crime happens in countries where the government implements strict gun regulation, like Mexico.
        Please consider my arguments on guns in another comment: https://slashdot.org/comments.... [slashdot.org]
  • I did not understand - what is the domain extension?
  • by wjcofkc ( 964165 ) on Monday November 13, 2017 @06:38AM (#55539401)
    I think the timing is about spot of for this to be forward thinking to be not too forward thinking. The new space race is on. This time it's not just governments. Commercial interests are bent on getting people off of the planet. Between low earth orbit trips and colonizing Mars, capitalism and new enabling technologies may just be what our species needs to make up for the last 50 years of not doing much and even race past where we should already be. Human space flight has always been about politics first. I am not sure that we would have yet put people in space at all, let alone on the moon if there had not been political interests. The size of a milk carton be damned. That people can come together announce this crazy idea while also be able to launch a satellite at all is remarkable. Look at how we are taking it for granted. That in itself makes it all the incredible. So when you combine the new and newly realized commercial interests in put people in space and keeping them there combined with the new political interests prompting the governments of the world to race to the moon and stake a claim while they can, we may just be seeing the beginning of humanities future in space that should have already been realized. We just might yet survive ourselves after all

    I just woke up and this could have been written better. But you get the idea.
    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      You can see this particular impulse as dovetailing with the rise of cryptocurrencies. Now that the technologies enable groups of private individuals to do so, they are attempting to develop a sphere of action that is outside the control of traditional national sovereign entities.

      But even more so with this than cryptocurrencies, people aren't really opting out of the existing systems; they're trying to establish a kind of parallel identity free of traditional constraints. I doubt many "citizens" of Asgard

  • The first step toward making Expelled From Paradise a reality.

    I call dibs on Angela Balzac.

  • If I hack into the satellite and take over control, does that make me the ruler of Asgardia?
  • by Sqreater ( 895148 ) on Monday November 13, 2017 @10:00AM (#55540107)
    Could I upload one of my Second Life avatars to live there as a citizen?
  • by DerekLyons ( 302214 ) <fairwater@gmail . c om> on Monday November 13, 2017 @12:42PM (#55541091) Homepage

    At ISS altitude, the "nation" will only last a couple of years before atmospheric drag brings it down.

  • Sorry, but "Asgardia" sounds like something itchy you treat with a cream or lotion. :-)

If all the world's economists were laid end to end, we wouldn't reach a conclusion. -- William Baumol

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