Aphelia Space Research Nation

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Aphelia Space Research Nation

Ad astra per aspera
(Latin: through hardships to the stars)
6zZlOi9 - Imgur.jpg
Northeast region of Thailand
ASRN Splitflag "Seafarer" for sea vessels
Capital cityAres
Largest citySpace Test Complex 1
Official language(s)English, Thai
Short nameAphelia, ASRN
Established23 March 2017 @2345 Indochina time
Area claimed1km²
Time zoneLocal time - Indochina time (ICT)
Standard time - Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)
National animalTardigrade
This nation was established to support civilian private space program NEXSpace Exploration

Official Website

Aphelia, officially Aphelia Space Research Nation or "ASRN" for short (Polish: Kraj Badań Przestrzeni Kosmicznej Afelia German: Aphelia Spatienkeil Forschung Nation) is a technocratic republic micronation focused on space exploration technology, science research, arts and innovation. ASRN was founded by STL Ernst Schmitz, an amateur rocket builder and animator. With help of INV Minerva, law student and STL Lync, american radio and satellite enthusiast. Aphelia have no space object claim and rely only on current exists space technology and realistic in-development technology.

Aphelia's ultimate goal is to be a science, innovation and art nation. Research the most efficient space exploration technologies, and erasing the barrier between Earth and space. Embracing scientific research and development. Increasing the likelihood of survival for humans in case of a catastrophic incident, such as one that could wipe out all life on earth such as an asteroid impact, runaway climate change and collapsing biosphere, or other manmade disasters such as nuclear war. Aphelia technology is intended not to be used to develop weapons or to create technology which can be used as weapons. Aphelia's missions are solely for science and are not involved in the carrying of any explosive, nuclear, biological or chemical weapons as payloads. Beside rocket technology, Aphelia has also researched about closed-system farming, agriculture in extreme climates and Mars-like conditions

Aphelia is supporting writer, illustrator, mangaka, director, producer and creators as a free space for creative mind. Many ASRN citizen are sci-fi writer and illustrator. Most of ASRN creators are mainly digital artist and creating sci-fi genre fiction in various format. ASRN is allow creators to expressed all arts as a piece of fiction in subject or setting


Aphelia Space Research Nation was founded on 21 March 2017 and was officially established 23 March 2017, approximately 2 years after STL Schmitz first attempt to build a micronation and dissolution of Technostellar, the experimental interplanetary micronation.


In 2015, a small micronation named Technostellar was established after STL Schmitz read about the Principality of Sealand, inspiring her to create her own micronation. To take place in the same location where Aphelia was located with a similar concept to Aphelia but with unrealistic claim of space objects, she planned to create an interplanetary nation. Technostellar was intended to have all of the essentials of a nation, whilst never being recognized, nor having any interaction with other micronations and macronations due to Schmitz's various concerns about misunderstanding and miscommunication. She took on the role of a one-man government for a week until her resignation due to burnout and inactivity.

Founding Space Port

First version of Space Port flag

14 January 2017, after watching the SpaceX Iridium-1 launch, three SpaceX fans and space enthusiasts started discussing Copenhagen Suborbitals, reusable rockets, the nanosatellite industry boom and the cost of access to space. One of them started to derail the topic from space exploration to a national space program, the group found out that their nation didn't have any space exploration program or rocket/spacecraft development of any kind. The group then came across the idea of establishing a civilian private space program, and thus NEXSpace Exploration was born. The primary goals were to make space travel and inhabitance accessible for everyone and to open a new frontier in space exploration for civilians in the private sector. The projects are self funded and currently have no support from any government, organizations or companies.

NEXSpace Exploration embarked on the first of its many projects, testing a scaled down propulsion system, as well as electronics and recovery systems. It did not make much progress due to a lack of funding and manpower. 68 days from the establishment of NEXSpace Exploration, 21 March 2017, having read about micronations and colonization in space. Schmitz was struck with the idea of establishing an interplanetary nation again. Based on the Technostellar concept, NEXSpace Exploration's ultimate goal, and the SpaceX colonized Mars project, the idea of Space Port was born as the first space exploration technology R&D nation with more realistic goal and actual in-house technology.

Space Port was officially established 23 March 2017 and became fully operational 4 days later. With Schmitz as the First Commander of Aphelia.


In mid-2018, due to lack of funding, suporting from patreon, excessive cost of operation, and several unsuccessful test. NEXSpace Exploration member ceasing rocketry activity and all project are put to halt, and handed leftover materials to Aphelia. All space technology experimental research branch has been temporary closed as Aphelia shared some facilities with NEXSpace Exploration except radio and nanosatellite research which is run by STL Lync in America continent. This cause a set back to Aphelia space technology research.

With first Aphelia propose of existence, it seem to be extremely devoted to science and does not left any room for those who are not working in science and engineering field. This is not only causing lack of citizen but also lack of good public relations. STL Schmitz has reproposed Aphelia existence from “research the most efficient space exploration technologies, and erasing the barrier between Earth and space to make humans an interplanetary species” to “a micronation focused on space exploration technology, science research, arts and innovation”, a more realistic goal with original intention of establishment of Aphelia. The reproposing of Aphelia is not only rendering Aphelia's goal to be more realistic but still keep original ambition, but also open more oppertunities for space enthusiast and media creators to join Aphelia citizen.

Geography and climate

ASRN and nearby region reached 43°C on 13 April 2017

ASRN and Space Test Complex 1 located in northeast region of Thailand. Average temperature 35 °C, highest temperature recorded 47 °C in April 2016.

Space Port's climate can be described as a tropical monsoon climate. It is characterized by a strong monsoon season, with a considerable amount of sun, a high amount of rainfall, and high humidity that making it quite uncomfortable. The Köppen climate classification of Aphelia can be classified as Aw climate, a hot, tropical climate with all months above 18 °C and a period of dry weather in the winter.

Summer is from February to May. It's climate is greatly influenced by southeasterly monsoons from the South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. Due to the long distance from the sea, the weather is hot and dry. The rainy season is from May to October and has been known to cause depression in some. However, throughout the season, the amount of rainfall at any one given time varies even though 80% of total rainfall occurs in August and September. Rainfall is unpredictable, but is concentrated in the rainy season from May to October. Average annual precipitation varies from 2,000 mm (79 in) in some areas to 1,270 mm (50 in). This is to say, the likelihood of rainfall in ASRN is difficult to predict. The rainy season begins with occasional short but heavy showers, eventually raining very heavily for longer periods almost every day, usually in the late afternoon or at night, until it ends abruptly at the onset of the cool season. Cool season is from October to February. There are many northeastern monsoons that affect the area. The beginning to the end of October experiences some rains, however as the winter continues, a colder period of high pressure blows in from China, creating a characteristically drier weather. The other seasons are hot season from February to May with its sudden peak of high temperatures in April.

Due to safety concerns, some Aphelia research and development projects such as solid-fuel rocket motors and other engine testing are put on hold when the temperatures rise above 40 °C to prevent overheating, overpressure and undesired ignition. And in cool season from drier weather and strong wind. The rocket can be pushed off course by strong upper level winds and sudden change of wind direction. Another reason of launch ban in summer and cool season is risk of causing wildfire.

Space Program

The Aphelia space program's projects vary in design, however primarily revolving around developing a sounding rocket, a nanosatellite launch vehicle and a cubesat at a cheaper cost. Aphelia was a partner of the civilian private space program, NEXSpace Exploration. ASRN is open for international collaboration and intergovernmental contribution. Aphelia activities range from amateur rocketry to developing a small-lift launch vehicle and developing radio and nanosatellite based network.

Hybrid rocket engine test at Aphelia. This test is to demonstrate hybrid rocket engine control, no thrust measurement in this attempt

Aphelia Technology Protection Policy

Most of Aphelia's projects are publicly released with the exception of rocket propulsion and related technology. Access to Space Port rocket technology requires permission from STL Schmitz and ASRN Science council. Taking pictures of sensitive instruments belonging to Aphelia and/or publishing or posting on social networks without permission is prohibited. Aphelia space technology will not be shared with any non-scientific research organization. Violating this rule can result in permanent banishment from entering the Aphelia facility. This policy is to protect Aphelia technology from misuse by unauthorized, unqualified or malicious persons or organisations.

Space Test Complex 1

Space Test Complex 1 is a small territory owned by STL Schmitz's family located in a northeastern region of Thailand, capable of hosting small rocket engine tests (thrust >2.5 kN), being equipped with a horizontal test stand and fire suppression system. The test stand was badly damaged by a solid-fueled rocket motor test in January 2017.

Because the current location is too small and in lieu of safety concerns with a nearby village, launching a rocket larger than a high-power amateur rocket from Space Test Complex 1 is prohibited. Space Test complex 1 is now decommissioned and all equipments stored in a warehouse in the same area. The place where were busy test site now turn into a farmland. Only water tank are reserved for agriculture propose, test stand and shield block debris still can be found buried.

After NEXSpace disbanded

NEXSpace Exploration rocketry group ceasing activity and all project put to halt in mid-2018, due to lack of funding, supporting from patreon, difficulties in resault and manpower management and several unsuccessful test. After ceasing rocketry activity, NEXSpace disposing unused fuel and handed leftover materials to Aphelia. All space technology research branch has been temporary closed as Aphelia shared some facilities with NEXSpace Exploration and unable to use tools and machine provided by NEXSpace. Current site have many disadvantage for rocketry experiment so ASRN decided to decommissioned the test site and move to another space project.

Radio and nanosatellite research which is run by STL Lync in american continent is still active.

Nanosatellite development

The nanosatellite project is proposed by STL Lync in 2018. The goal of ASRN nanosatellite development is to build a global high speed communication constellation which can be used for anything and is infinitely reconfigurable due to the satellite architecture. And another goal is to be cheaper and better than the market by using cubesat and small satellite technology. This project is currently under research phase and funding. As now the project is in researching state so most of investment are invested in amateur radio as project planned to build device based on cubesat and amateur radio technology to lower the cost and complications.


Human right

Aphelia has been considered a progressive country, which has adopted legislation and policies to support women's rights and LGBT rights. In regard to LGBT rights, Aphelia enact an anti-discrimination law protecting the rights of LGBT prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation in the provision of goods or services and in access to public gatherings, prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity, prohibit hate speech directed at LGBT people. And legalise civil union partnerships for same-sex couples with full marriage equality to same-sex couples. Aphelia allowing the change of legal name for transgender people solely based on self-determination and legal gender after surgical or hormonal transition, or both by people aged at least 16. Lesbian, gay and nonbinary people can serve openly in the Self Defense Force. Transgender persons may serve openly as well.

Same-sex sexual activity legal Yes
Equal age of consent (16) Yes
Anti-discrimination laws in employment Yes
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services Yes
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) Yes
Anti-discrimination laws concerning gender identity Yes
Same-sex marriages Yes
Recognition of same-sex couples Yes
Stepchild adoption by same-sex couples Yes
Joint adoption by same-sex couples Yes
LGBT people allowed to serve openly in the military Yes
Right to change legal gender Yes
Conversion therapy on minors outlawed Yes
Access to IVF for lesbians and automatic parenthood for both spouses after birth Yes
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No (Banned regardless of gender or sexual orientation)
MSMs allowed to donate blood Yes/No (1 year deferral period)


Proposal for Aphelia aircraft emblem

ASRN planning to establishing small-sized Self Defense Forces. They consists of 3 branches:

- Self Defense Force (SDF), defense Aphelia territory and safety of Aphelia citizen.

- Search and Rescue (SaR), Aiding humanitarian mission and recovering ASRN properties and personnels.

- Elite Engineer Force (EGI), capable of space launch and hardware recovery operation. Managing range and airspace for Elite Engineer Force and private aerospace company.

The plan to create a Self Defense Force is a future plan to be established when Aphelia become independent. As now Aphelia does not posessed any armed force or military weapon.

Diplomatic relationship

Aphelia Space Research Nation have mutual recognition and good diplomatic relations with The Kingdom of Jupiter, and Thegn-Hold of Siar Fordell. As of middle of April 2018, ASRN have started cooperation with small, militaristic micronation Syndikat. Syndikat provides Military Advising to ASRN Security Forces. In future however, Syndikat will provide security service for ASRN. Along cooperation with Syndikat, Aphelia started cooperation with Larger Micronation called Nexus in July 2018, and planned future STEM project with Arkovia. Aphelia established inter-micronation scientific research program with Nexan with providing ASRN citizenship to Nexan citizen, and vice versa. The program has been change after ASRN rework in December 2018 but still remain in good diplomatic relationship.

Aphelia is open to project collaboration and membership. Aphelia citizens are permitted to bear multi-citizenship with other micronations. Aphelia remains neutral during micronational wars and does not wish to create any military alliances with other micronations. A citizen candidate need to pass required criteria to recieve citizenship.


National holidays in Aphelia.

Name Date Remarks
New Year's Day 1 January The beginning of the year in the Georgian Calendar. Public holiday in Abelden.
International Day of Human Space Flight 12 April Anniversary of the first human space flight by Yuri Gagarin.

Flag and National Emblem

First version of Aphelia flag


Main articles: Flag of Aphelia

The Aphelia flag is the flag used to represent the country and its people and have two variant, one is rectangle flag use as national flag called the ‘Shelter flag’ symbolizing orange surface, deep space, shelter area and life. And the ‘Seafarer flag’ for sea vessel registered to Aphelia Navy or Civilian Fleet and vertical flag hanging. The older version of Aphelia flag is Mars flag, symbolizes a sun, Mars surface, Phobos and Deimos. The long term goal of ASRN to settling on Mars. Heavily influenced by Martian flag of Martian Congressional Republic from The Expanse series. And Space Port flag, symbolizes a rocket launch from earth. A white, diagonal line shows the rocket trajectory, the blue color symbolizes Earth, the black color symbolizes the deep space, and the white circle symbolizes the moon. Space Port flag has been criticized by Minerva for similarity to Copenhagen Suborbitals logo and too generic color with diagonal line which is frequently used in logo of several aerospace company.

Standing wave patterns that appear in the supersonic exhaust plume of an aerospace propulsion system

National emblem

Main articles: Emblem of Aphelia

The Aphelia National emblem is Phoenix emblem with wing extended downward in triangle formation. A phoenix, a bird from Greek mythology which obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor. Symbolized how Aphelian engineer develop new generation of technology by surpass limit of old technology to build a better one like phoenix which combusted into flame and ashs to be reborn. The curve of phoenix wing is symbolized bright area of Mach diamond of standing wave patterns that appear in the supersonic exhaust plume of an aerospace propulsion system called Mach diamond.

Identification title

Identificattion title are unique prefix given to those who contribute to the progress of Aphelia research and development. Or personnel in specific occupation for a fast identification when needed. A person who receive more than one title can choose only single title to be display to avoid too long title which is unpractical in actual use. Aphelia identification title can be granted to foreigner in and outside Aphelia territory. The title are made to encourage citizen to paticipate in research and development or art expression.

Title Acronym Describtion
Stellar STL - Civilian and military personnel who contribute to the Aphelia space program, spaceflight and related activities, or

- Amateur rocketeers who successfully launch a homemade rocket to reach the Karman line, at 100 km of altitude or above, whilst safely recovering the payload intact (it must be launched in front of an inspector, with live webcast coverage, and a camera onboard. A telemetry log is also required.)

Sideral SDR - Astronomers, physicists and scientists making contributions in astronomy, astrophysics, astrobiology or related research programs

- Amateur astronomers who discover new stars, planets, asteroids, comets and other celestial objects

Scientist SIC Scientist, lab technician and worker from relate branch.
Engineer IGN Engineer and technician of ASRN, this title covered every engineering relate branch except space technology.
Medical MED Given to doctor, flight surgeons and medical personnel. Include nurse, medical technician, physical therapist and other healthcare worker.
Creator CRE - Writer, illustrator, artist and other media makers who create art expression and cause impact in a community or in society.

- Writer and illustrator who made a comic/novel which got attention from media and made into movie or animation.

Rocket Builder ROC This title is specially for amateur rocket builder, not to be confused with space industry personnel.

- Tier I is awarded to people who send a rocket above 25 km altitude and safely recover an intact rocket

- Tier II is awarded to people who send a rocket above 50 km altitude and safely recover an intact rocket

- Tier III is awarded to people who send a rocket above 75 km altitude and safely recover an intact payload

- Honrary : This title can be award to any amateur rocket builder who do impressive works or significant positive impact to amateur rocketry.

All tierd can be awarded to users of both commercial or privately-made rocket propulsion technologies. Approved inspector, live web coverage, and a telemetry log are required.

Patreon PTR - Given to people who support the Aphelia project by funding the program, or those who provide other financial support or supplies.
Military MIL Given to people who contribute in the Aphelia self-defense force, and member of Aphelia self defense force.
Pathfinder PTH Given to people who contribute in a Aphelia search and recovery operation
Astronaut AST

- Astronauts/cosmonauts, flight surgeons, military and civilian pilots who complete training and perform a successful spaceflight (80 km above Earth's surface or higher)

- People who complete astronaut training and travel above Karman line

This title is reserve for people who logged a time in space making a contribution in Aphelia spaceflight. Space tourists does not allow to bear this title. This title covered suborbital, orbital and interplanetary flights.

In fiction

Aphelia featured in manga series Horizontal Scape (now discontinued) as a space faring nation in year 21XX with a name of carrier ship 'ASRN Norio' piloting by hybrid species captain Felix with registered port at Aphelia industrial station. ASRN Norio were build at a shipyard in Empire of Quailia with advance engine technology create by Quailian fictional aerospace engineer Damien "Bilbo" Vick. ASRN Norio is the fastest heavy carrier ship of ASRN carrier fleet in the series. ASRN Kobayashi is small gunship own by protagonist Sigrid Møller. The state-of-the-art parole ship purchased from black market, illegally modified into a warship and escape vessel.

See also

Space Port's Discord Channel

External links