When I received the media release about Asgardia I had to check the date it was sent — twice — just to be sure it wasn’t an elaborate April fools’ joke. We are on the verge of the conclusion of Marvel’s biggest Avenger movie series and I wouldn’t put it past the entertainment monolith that is Disney to put out a media release about a conference whereby a Norse-named space nation wants to protect our planet from external forces. Thor has always been cool like that, helping humans out against Cate Blanchett and the like. But no, it would appear that Asgardia is something altogether different. Igor Ashurbeyli was born in Azerbaijan (a place I had to Google) in 1963 and graduated from the wonderfully eastern bloc-sounding “Azerbaijan State Oil Academy” during the height of the Soviet era. He dedicated his life to software, science and space, and was even awarded a UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization medal for his contributions to nanoscience. Business was good and he w...

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