Future citizens of a newly-formed “space kingdom” may need to pass an IQ test to be a part of the self-proclaimed utopian society.
At a ceremony in Vienna’s Hofburg Palace on Monday, 25 June, hundreds of people gathered for the inauguration of Asgardia – a ”global humanitarian project” which hopes to one day set up human colonies on the Moon.
Asgardia’s first ruler is a Russian billionaire, Igor Ashurbeyli, a computer scientist who has spear-headed the new nation since it was first announced in October 2016.
During his inauguration speech, Mr Ashurbeyli stressed his belief in the significance of his leadership.
“This day will certainly be recorded in the annals of the greatest events in the history of humankind,” he said.
“We have thus established all branches of government. I can therefore declare with confidence that Asgardia – the first space nation of the united humankind – has been born.”
Members of Mr Ashurbeyli’s government include some familiar faces from British politics, most notably a former MP, Lembit Opik.
Fellow Asgardian MPs voted Mr Opik as head of parliament after he released a 12-point manifesto which detailed his vision for life beyond Earth.
“I’m a realist,” he stated in the manifesto. “I know what I can do.
"I hope you’ll give me the opportunity [to] dedicate my time and energy to serving Asgardia – our space nation united in our dream for one humanity.”
Around 200,000 people have already signed up to become citizens of Asgardia – named after Asgard, a flying city in ancient Norse mythology – since it was founded.
Within the next 10 years, Asgardia hopes to grow to a population of 150 million, which would make it the ninth most populous country in the world.
According to Mr Ashurbeyli, the most suitable candidates for citizenship are the “most creative” people, adding “citizenship selection will continue. It might even involve IQ tests.”
The new nation claims to have already attracted citizens from 200 countries around the world – more than the 193 officially recognised by the United Nations.
Until now the venture has largely been financed by Mr Ashurbeyli, however an annual membership of 100 euros for Asgardians will help fund the next phase of the nation’s growth.
Additional reporting from agencies
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies