Many would remember the 1960s cartoon series, Jetsons, (with a later syndication in the late 1980s) featuring the eponymous family in a futuristic utopia called the Orbit City. The Jetsons lived in Skypad Apartments, a building that stood far above the surface of terra firma, supported by what looked like stilts. Such atmospheric dwelling may soon come to be in real life. Over 260,000 people have applied to live in Asgardia, a new city that is to come up some 400 km from the Earth’s surface. The plan is to send satellites along with space platforms that can interconnect to form a space city. Asgardia says that one of its main goals is to protect the Earth from space threats like solar flares, debris and that the ultimate goal is to build a protective shield around the planet, it is not clear how it will be able to achieve this. The first launch is due this September, with next two launches scheduled for 2018 and 2019. The first inhabitants are expected to settle in eight years. Residents, selected via a random draw, have already created their own charter, parliament and have even selected their first president. Dr Igor Ashurbeyli, who first conceptualised the idea of a space nation, is to be the first nominal head of Asgardia. Although Ashurbeyli is trying hard for UN membership for Asgardia, concerns remain on what laws Asgardians will abide by.
You may also like to watch:
Creating new nations or cities is not a new phenomenon, and Asgardia may not even be the only space city in the near future. French Polynesia is expected to get the first floating city in a few years from now. Seasteading, an NGO, has been working to establish autonomous, mobile communities on seaborne platforms operating in international waters. But can these new nations decide their own destiny? The idea behind most new cities and autonomous regions is providing a new start for a better society so that they don’t repeat the mistakes that other nations have made.