More than 25,000 people from countries in the European Union have signed up as citizens of the world’s first ‘space nation’ Asgardia.
The so-called virtual nation was founded in October 2016 by Russian scientist Dr Igor Ashurbeyli and now boasts more than 143,000 citizens worldwide.
Asgardia – named after a Norse mythological city of the skies – describes itself as a “global, unifying and humanitarian project.”
Its founding principles include ensuring the peaceful use of space and protecting planet Earth.
Earlier this month, it launched the Asgardia-1 satellite, which took its citizens’ data to space as well as digital representations of its flag, constitution and coat of arms.
While the United States, Turkey, and China lead the list of countries whose residents have taken advantage of the free citizenship, scores of Europeans have also signed up.
According to data on Asgardia’s website, people from every country in the European Union have been recognised as citizens of the ‘space nation’.
Italy has the most Asgardians, at almost 7,000, while the UK has nearly 5,000 citizens, and more than 3,000 people in both Spain and France have signed up.
Anyone over the age of 18 with an email address is allowed to join Asgardia, provided that they agree to adopt its constitution.
For now, they will be keeping their feet on planet Earth, but Asgardia hopes to create habitable platforms in a low Earth orbit in the future.
Central to its current aims is being recognised by the United Nations.
But to achieve this, the UN’s Security Council must approve its application and two-thirds of the members of the General Assembly must vote for its admission.
Citizens of Asgardia are now hoping to become one step closer to that dream by running to become members of its parliament, with candidates across Europe and beyond currently setting forth their visions for the future of the ‘space nation’.