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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

A growing kingdom has to start somewhere--in this case, low Earth orbit works.

•, Samantha Cole

The Space Kingdom of Asgardia isn't technically a nation yet—it's a non-profit non-governmental organization based out of Vienna, Austria and bankrolled by Russian billionaire Igor Ashurbeyli. But if you're trying to start a whole space nation from scratch, you have to start somewhere.

Asgardia-1, a CubeSat, took off from NASA's Wallops Island flight facility in Virginia on November 12. It rode an OA-08 rocket, as part of the OA-8 Antares-Cygnus commercial resupply mission to the ISS.

The satellite has a 0.5 terabyte capacity for data storage, and contains the Constitution of Asgardia—a document outlining the core tenets of the space nation—as well as images and text files submitted by citizens (people who "applied" to become Asgardians and accepted the constitution), which are publicly available to browse through. This database is part of an effort begun last year to digitize and store "the wealth of human knowledge in space" (and ended up breaking a few earthly laws, as Asgardians uploaded copyrighted material).

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