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42 years since the first flight of a Bulgarian astronaut in space

Nikolai Rukavishnikov and Georgi Ivanov (right)
Photo: BNR archive

The day was April 10, 1979 and the time 20 hours and 34 minutes. The Soyuz-33 spacecraft launched into orbit takes to outer space. The first Bulgarian cosmonaut Georgi Ivanov was onboard. He made 31 complete orbits around the Earth. Onboard the ship Bulgaria's Ivanov was with the Soviet cosmonaut Nikolai Rukavishnikov. 

This flight placed Bulgaria as the 6th space country in the world after the USSR, USA, Czechoslovakia, Poland and the GDR.

All-Bulgarian equipment and appliances were created specifically for this flight which were the work of Bulgarian scientists. Bulgarian scientists also created different types of space foods while preserving the taste, aroma and nutritional qualities of the products in space flight. 

Some of the Bulgarian developments continue to be used in space flights to this day.

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