FORMER Montgomeryshire MP Lembit Opik has been voted "head of Parliament" of a self-proclaimed utopian society which aims to be the first 'space kingdom'.

At a ceremony in Vienna’s Hofburg Palace on Monday, June 25, 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 a familiar face from British politics, most notably former Montgomeryshire 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.

Lembit says: "All through my political career I’ve been involved in what you might call 'space politics.' When I was the Member of Parliament for Montgomeryshire, I did a lot of work with Spaceguard UK, which is doing its best to prevent us from being incinerated by an asteroid. I led the campaign to get the UK Government to take the threat of Near Earth Objects seriously.

At the beginning, some folks laughed at the campaign. Then they stopped laughing – following a government sponsored report confirming everything I’d claimed about the threat was true.

"Asgardia originally attracted a similar kind of amused curiosity. I myself had been watching the development of this new space nation and by 2018 it seemed to me Asgardia was coming of age and I signed up to stand as a Member of Parliament.

"I was pleased to get elected, and assumed that it would be interesting to be involved with the evolution of a space nation.

"I was asked to chair the first session of Asgardia’s Parliament. In an energised and, at times, heated day of debates, we passed the first legislation, on how Parliament is to run – plus laws relating to citizenship. We needed these to enable Asgardia to progress as a nation. Then, rather to my surprise, I was also elected as the Chair of Parliament.

"I hadn’t planned to return to frontline politics, but two key factors persuaded me to do so. There are no political parties. They’re not allowed in Asgardia. I like that a lot.

"I’ve come to the view that political parties often simply serve the personal ambitions of those involved in them. By contrast, the idea in Asgardia is that the collective interest of the citizens must come above partisanship.The structure of the Parliament – how it makes decisions – makes parties irrelevant anyway.

A"sgardia’s Parliament is also set to be the most electronically sophisticated Parliament in the history of humankind. Asgardia officially embraces 12 languages.

"The quality of international communications was breathtakingly high. Geographically, Asgardia has to overcome the need for frequent physical sessions of Parliament. Asgardia has to find a way to make the Parliamentary system work, without the need to keep its MPs in the skies going to and from meetings all the time. We just need to find a creative solution.

"Asgardia has three key goals: first, to ensure the peaceful use of space; second, to protect planet Earth from space threats; third, to create a demilitarized and free scientific base of knowledge in space.

"The establishment of a serious Parliamentary structure and the inauguration of the Head of Nation – Dr. Igor Ashurbeyli – plus the election of an acting Prime Minister (Ana Diaz).

The head of Justice (Professor Yun Zhao) as well as myself a Speaker of Parliament, means everything is in place to make this work. It’s not a matter of passively waiting to see if Asgardia will make progress.

!It’s something we’ll have to make happen – actively, intelligently and energetically. There’s a logical imperative behind the existence of this nation. Without Asgardia, space becomes another ‘land grab’ by terrestrial powers. Colonisation has a rather poor record of respecting citizens’ rights, and the same problem would inevitably occur in orbit if there is no legitimate alternative to earth based citizenship. Asgardia is a bold, well-thought nation with a self-evident role of cosmic importance.

"The human race has to reach out to new lands and extend the reach of our civilisation into space. In the spirit of making this nation successful, I invite you to visit our website – – and become a citizen.

"It takes 10 minutes, and by signing up you don’t lose any of your citizenship rights here on earth. It just means that you’re helping secure the future of space for the many, not the few.

Go on, sign up. In doing so you add weight to Asgardia’s vision of a rational, non-militaristic and inspirational expansion into space. And when we look back to this time, we’ll be able to say of Asgardia that we came in peace, for all mankind."

“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.”

The Asgardia ‘space nation’ wants to democratise access to space and already claims to have more than 200,000 citizens (Asgardia)

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.

Asgardia is the first 'space nation' - with a name that comes from the city of the skies ruled by Odin from Valhalla in Norse mythology.

It was founded 20 months ago, and it already has about 200,000 citizens, a constitution, a flag and an elected parliament.

It also has a leader, Russian-Azerbaijani billionaire Igor Ashurbeyli, who was inaugurated on Monday.

He described as 'a fully-fledged and independent nation, and a future member of the United Nations.'

The Asgardia Project Team is led by Ashurbeyli, a scientist and founder of the Aerospace International Research Center (AIRC) in Vienna.

By creating a new space nation, the experts behind the project hope to develop future space technology free from the restrictions of state control.

Alongside its announcement, Asgardia opened up applications for virtual citizenship via its website.

Asgardia has also launched its first satellite - Asgardia-1 - which travelled to the International Space Station last year with the Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft, and remained there until it deployed to low-Earth orbit in December.

One of Asgardia's first projects will be the creation of a protective shield to protect humankind from space debris, including asteroids.


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3 hours ago

Hello, I just wanted to clear up a misunderstanding: there is no registration fee to join Asgardia and no IQ tests. Asgardia is free for anyone to join.

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8 hours ago

One can't help being reminded of the cretins in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, who were enticed to get into space ships believing they were special, but were sent to crash anywhere just to get rid of them. The Earth is all we've got people. Look after it

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15 hours ago

Well, with Trump wanting the US to create a new Space Force and given he's described himself as a very stable genius, I'd be astonished if he doesn't attempt to sign up. And I see Asgardia’s first ruler is a Russian billionaire, Igor Ashurbeyli, so he should fit right in...

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15 hours ago

Wasn't that the plot of "Moonraker?"

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Pardel Lux

15 hours ago

Citizen selection process? The most creative? IQ testing? All I hear is eugenics. That is not how breeding a new race works, Mr. Billionairski. Bad credentials, worse karma.

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17 hours ago

This IQ test - I presume it will have a maximum limit on cultist being allowed to join ? Hail Ming !

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