Austrian non-profit organisation Asgardia has unveiled its plan to launch the first satellite into space to support the establishment of the first nation that will orbit Earth.

As part of the plan, a 2.8kg cubesat Asgardia-1 will be launched by September onboard an Orbital ATK Antares rocket carrying the eighth cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

Featuring four deployable solar arrays, the Asgardia-1 will primarily be a data storage satellite.

Once launched, the satellite will become the foundation of a permanent presence in space and be able to store data from up to 1.5 million Asgardians for free.

“Asgardia will now demonstrate that space is within our grasp."

The entire effort to build the Asgardia nation has been led by Russian scientist Dr Igor Ashurbeyli. Canada’s McGill University’s Aerospace Law School director Ram Jakhu and US-based company NanoRacks are also involved in the project, which will be designed to operate as an independent space nation.

Dr Ashurbeyli was quoted by Room as saying: “Asgardia will now demonstrate that space is within our grasp.

“Last year in Paris, when we launched Asgardia, many people were sceptical that we would ever put anything in space.

“But I can confidently announce today, that we will be launching a space satellite, Asgardia-1.”

Ashurbeyli further noted that Asgardia-1 would help create a network of satellites that will help protect Earth from asteroids, solar flares, man-made space debris and other space hazards.

When completed, Asgardia will be recognised by states on Earth and the United Nations, as well as be subject to international laws.

Around 200,000 people from nearly 200 countries worldwide have already registered their names to become citizens in Asgardia.