“It marks an escalation of global superpowers moving to increase their influence on space as space exploration and colonisation edges closer to reality. While global powers on Earth may view this as a necessary step in the battle for supremacy in space, for those that see space as an opportunity to live away from the damaging influence of geopolitics this is hugely concerning.”
If you’re going to call yourself the world’s first and only space nation, you’d better be prepared to get down and dirty with those who infringe on your territory or fail to join in and defend the planet against space disasters. Twice in a week, the leaders of the Space Kingdom of Asgardia have stepped up to the pad and launched rockets of rhetoric against President Trump’s Space Force announcement and its fear that no other nations share its concern that the probability of Earth being hit by a doomsday asteroid is 100%. All hail Asgardia!
“Space Command will ensure that America’s dominance in space is never questioned and never threatened.”
Immediately after President Trump said this at his announcement that the Space Command or Space Force was open for business, the leaders of Asgardia issued a strong statement condemning the move, comparing it to the Cold War. Asgardia launched its Asgardia-1 satellite in 2017 and declared sovereignty over the space occupied by and contained within Asgardia -1, which it believes makes it the only nation to have all of its territory in space. Lena De Winne, minister of communications for Asgardia, expressed the space nation’s territorial concerns to The National.
“The expansionist rhetoric of Trump is a continuation of this worrying trend of world powers seeking to look after their own self-interests by laying claim to space whilst showing no regard for their fellow human beings. One of the key missions of Asgardia is to provide a home in space for humans, to safeguard the human race in a peaceful environment – far away from the weapons on Earth that have the potential to destroy our species. This announcement from President Trump undermines all notions of space being a peaceful environment. Instead, it transitions the battleground of the global superpowers from Earth to space.”
Does that sound like a gauntlet being thrown down? A few days later, Lembit Öpik, the Chairman of Parliament for Asgardia, challenged the Space Command, the US and all Earth nations to help Asgardia in its primary mission – to protect the planet from catastrophic asteroids.
“It's a matter of life and death. The chance of an impact is 100 percent, you just don't know when. This happens very rarely, but when it happens it's catastrophic and it will wipe out between 70 and 95 percent of all life. That's what seems to have happened before."
Öpik is a former British politician who tried to raise that government’s awareness levels of an asteroid apocalypse before joining Asgardia as the decision-maker in such matters. While NASA, the ESA, other national space organizations, other nations and even Brian May, Queen guitarist and co-founder of the annual Asteroid Day awareness program, are developing ways to protect the planet from asteroids, that’s apparently not enough for the leaders of Asgardia.
Is the Space Command afraid of Asgardia? Not likely. Will the Space Force go to war – cold or otherwise – with Asgardia? Perhaps a cyberwar would be more appropriate, since Asgardia believes its sovereignty comes from having all of its data stored on a satellite in space. Will anyone change their asteroid plans just because of pressure or threats from Asgardia? Are you serious?
Will any of this stop Asgardia? Of course not. Should we be concerned that they have some secret plans to combat the Space Command and asteroids or make some huge and historic display to call attention to their concerns? That’s worth thinking about. After all, they may be a space nation, but they’re still humans fearful about their future.