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 citySpace Test Complex 1
Largest citySpace Test Complex 1
Official language(s)Thai, English, Norwegian
Short nameAphelia, ASRN
Established23 March 2017 @2345 Indochina time
Area claimed1km²
5 registered member
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 (ASRN) is an unrecognized, autonomously governed territory focused on space exploration technology, science research, arts and innovation. ASRN was founded by STL Svein Smedberg, a Norwegian-Thai amateur rocket builder and artist. Aphelia have no space object claim and prohibited such claim which violated Outer Space Treatyin any form. ASRN 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 that 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, manga artist, 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


ASRN took its name from technical term aphelion - the point in the orbit of an object where it is farthest from the Sun - and adding -ia suffix for place name. The official name of ASRN is Aphelia Space Research Nation with the shorter version of the official name, Aphelia, and acronym, ASRN, being more commonly used. At first ASRN name have only the word Aphelia and was unofficially known as Aphelia Technocratic Republic. The term Space Research Nation has been added later to strengthen the propose of the existence of the nation after the abolishment of unnecessary government structure. Before took the name Aphelia as an official nation name, ASRN was known as Space Port Interplanetary Nation.

ASRN official name in other language

  • Norway Norsk: Aphelia Luftfartsforskningsnasjon
  • Germany Deutsche: Aphelia Spatienkeil Forschung Nation
  • Poland Polski: Kraj Badań Przestrzeni Kosmicznej Afelia


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

Technostellar and Space Port

In 2015, a small micronation named Technostellar was established after STL Svein read about the Principality of Sealand, inspiring Svein to create their 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, Svein 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 Svein's various concerns about misunderstanding and miscommunication. Svein took on the role of a one-man government for a week until resignation due to burnout and inactivity.

First version of Space Port flag

STL Svein has been involved in local amateur rocket and rocket festival since founding Technostellar and continue to testing a scaled down propulsion system, as well as electronics and recovery systems for a non-profit amateur rocket group NEXSpace Exploration after Technostellar cease to exists. It did not make much progress due to a lack of funding and manpower. During 21 March 2017, having read about micronations and colonization in space. Svein 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 Interplanetary Nation was officially established 23 March 2017 and became fully operational 4 days later. With Svein as the First Commander.


In mid-2018, due to lack of funding, supporting from investor, 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 temporarily closed as Aphelia shared some facilities with NEXSpace Exploration except radio and nanosatellite research which is run by HAM operator 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 Svein has proposed Aphelia existence from only “research the most efficient space exploration technologies” 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 repurposing of Aphelia is not only rendering Aphelia's goal to be more realistic but still keep original ambition, but also open more opportunities for space enthusiast and media creators to join ASRN as a citizen.

Geography and climate

ASRN region reached 43°C

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

ASRN'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 for launch ban in summer and cool season is risk of causing wildfire as Space Test Complex 1 located close to farming and forest area.

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 remain undisclosed. Access to ASRN undisclosed rocket technology requires written permission from STL Svein and ASRN Science team. Taking pictures of sensitive instruments belonging to Aphelia and/or publishing or posting on social networks without permission is prohibited and might violated macronation laws as well. Aphelia space technology will not be shared with any non-scientific research organization or for non-research propose. 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 Svein'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. The site is now closed and turn into family farm manage by Svein's family.

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. Only water tank is reserved for agriculture propose, test stand and shield block debris still can be found buried.

Nanosatellite development

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.


Proposal for Aphelia aircraft emblem

ASRN planning to establishing small-sized Self Defense Forces. They consist 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 personnel.

- 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 if Aphelia become independent. As now Aphelia does not possess any armed force or military weapon.

Foreign relationship

ASRN maintained relations with other nations since its establishment in 2017 with very exclusive with its choices of allies and does not wish to create any military alliances with other micronations. ASRN is open to project collaboration and membership. Citizens of ASRN are permitted to bear multi-citizenship with other micronations. Since 2019, ASRN is no longer establish a new mutual recognition treaty as diplomacy tools but mutual recognition treaties before 2019 are still maintained.

The following are political entities that ASRN maintains diplomatic relations with since its establishment in 2017


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 Aphelia.
Spaceflight Memorial day 27 January Remembering, honoring, and mourning personnel that had died in spaceflight activity
ASRN Establishment day 23 March The yearly anniversary of the establishment of ASRN
International Day of Human Space Flight 12 April Anniversary of the first human space flight by Yuri Gagarin.

Flag and National Emblem

Example of double flag on right sleeve.


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’ to honor tradition of human exploration at sea, for sea vessel registered to Aphelia Navy or Civilian Fleet and vertical flag hanging. ASRN flag has been change for 2 time - 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 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.

Profession title

Profession 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 Profession 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 and not a part of honor system.

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.

External links