light-bulb-in-handWe’ve talked a lot about the missions to Mars. How one will be going and coming back, and the other will be going and staying, but those missions are from one planet to another. Those missions, though they are taking a person from one environment to a totally new environment, at least giving those passengers will arrive at a destination, but what if there was no destination? What if those passengers went into space, and stayed in space? This has been one of mankind’s greatest unknowns as seen by our history with Apollo 13 and our media with the movie “Gravity”. Well for the first time, an organization is ready to push beyond that unknown barrier even if it is just a little and see what happens.

What organization is wanting humans to stay in space?

united-nations-flagsThe United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization wants to create a new nation as a part of the United Nations using a permanent space station that will host 100,000 people, to start with. Their idea is that those who moved onto the space station would quite literally move without the ability to return to Earth. They would keep their original nation’s citizenship, but they would have to apply for the citizenship of the new nation of the space station being called “Asgardia.” For those of you who have Greek mythology backgrounds, you aren’t reading that incorrectly; that is the name of the home of the Greek gods.

How would living on Asgardia work?

The truth is that no one actually knows. There are many questions and concerns that have to be worked out before anything or anyone goes into space:

  • A civilization must be founded, maintained, and have the ability to repopulate itself which means that the correct number of people with the skills needed and the couples required to keep the number of people at least close to level must be analyzed and accounted for. The ability of those people to establish and reestablish food and water will be required but also the ability to create enough oxygen and remove enough carbon dioxide using their resources will be a major hurdle.
  • scale-of-justiceLaw and order of some kind would have to be established. It would be different to be in space for a life time so the laws and consequences may have to be adaptable to the problems they face, but how is such as system created for something we know nothing about on Earth? With that many people, a system will be needed to protect people and the system from dividing or fighting over resources.
  • A person’s response to the environment would have to be taken into account. However the space station is designed, it will include areas with and without gravity. It will also mean confined spaces and no open air to run to. Physical demands for work and health will have to be studied as well as the growth and development of children under the conditions, but more than that, the psychological responses to the circumstances will have to be researched thoroughly.

Even radiation and random objects floating in space like space dust and metorites that Earth’s atmosphere protect us from on a daily basis are a major concern that will have to be accounted for.

Will Asgardia ever get off the ground?

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThere are so many unknowns that a quote from the most recent “Star Trek” movie comes to mind: “It’s easy to get lost in the vastness of space. There’s only yourself, your ship, your crew.” But this quote inspires thoughts in both directions. Getting lost in the true vastness of space itself and all the problems that could arise after the space station is up and running, or getting lost in the vastness of the requirements for this project to get off the ground. This idea seems just as impossible as the Mars missions seemed 2 years ago, but we are on the verge of waving one of them goodbye, so is it that implausible? After all the years of wonder in the creativity behind the “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” movies, the massive leaps in technology, and what we can accomplish when we decide to, is it really that far out of reach?