A Russian billionaire has attended his inauguration as leader of humankind's first ever nation in space. Igor Ashurbeyli, a computer scientist, established the space nation of Asgardia at a ceremony in Vienna, Austria on Monday. In his inauguration address, Mr Ashurbeyli stated that: "This day will certainly be recorded in the annals of 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 also said his nation was a "global humanitarian project" that would pioneer the future colonization of space and set up human colonies on the Moon.
Asgardia is named after Asgard - a flying city in ancient Scandinavian mythology. It already has a growing number of would-be citizens. Around 200,000 people have signed up to claim their Asgardian nationality. Within the next 10 years, Asgardia hopes to amass a population of 150 million. This would make it the ninth most populous country. Future candidates to become an Asgard national will have to pass an IQ test to prove they are of a higher intelligence. They will also have to pay an annual membership of 100 euros. Asgardia has a long-term goal to launch life-sustaining, high-tech, verdant arks in space, where Asgardian citizens can live and prosper.