Since early in the century Earth-orbit had been considered an extra-national territory; that is, orbital space was a region outside all the established nations. International law treated habitats constructed by nations as extensions of those nations, but those built by private groups were wholly under the jurisdiction of those groups.
Towards the end of the century several of the larger orbital habitats announced secession from their parent nations. The Glaser-Sarkisyan SPS habitats were the first, in 2086, and the Titov and L1 complexes soon followed. These were not so much declarations of independence (the corporate-owned habitats were de facto independent) as assertions of nationhood. The Orbitals were supported in the World Court and UN by several of the most important transnats. In return the corporations received extremely beneficial taxation arrangements within the fledgling nations.
At first, the Orbitals were seen as one of the lesser by-products of the struggle being played out between the transnats and nations. The independence of a few orbital stations seemed insignificant next to the carving up of half the world into Autonomous Regions, Eurasian Protectorates and Special Economic Areas. Soon, though, they became an important economic power in their own right, principally because of their financial institutions.
Cis-Luna: 1 | 2 3 | 4 5 | Now
The future of Ad Astra