A Russian computer scientist is the leader of humankind's first ever nation in space. The Russian, a billionaire, set up the space nation of Asgardia at a ceremony in Austria. In his inauguration address, he stated that: "This day will certainly be recorded in...history as one of the greatest events for humankind. We have established all branches of government. I can therefore declare with confidence that Asgardia - the first space nation of the united humankind - has been born." He said it was a "humanitarian project" that would see the colonization of space and human colonies on the Moon.
Asgardia is named after Asgard - a flying city in ancient Scandinavian mythology. Around 200,000 people have signed up to be Asgardian citizens. Within the next 10 years, it should have a population of 150 million, making it the ninth most populous country. Would-be Asgard citizens will have to pass an IQ test to prove their intelligence, and pay an annual membership of 100 euros. Asgardia has a long-term goal to launch life-sustaining, high-tech arks in space where Asgardian citizens can live, grow food and be financially successful.