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Bulgarian youngsters to talk to astronauts from the International Space Station

Photo: twitter.com/atlanticclubbg

Did you know that outer space changes our taste perceptions, and the limited movement of astronauts requires them to eat special foods for the skeletal system and precisely calculated calories per serving.

What is life in outer space like? This turned out to be the most curious topic for Bulgarian children and youth between 6 and 19 years of age, who took part in the first stage of the initiative "Hello, Space! Bulgaria calling!”, organized by the Atlantic Club in Bulgaria.

Earlier this month, they had the opportunity to ask their most unusual questions to astronauts from the crew of NASA's Expedition 65. They had to be recorded in a video in English, lasting no more than 20 seconds and not raise topics such as religion, politics and extra-terrestrial life forms. In two weeks, more than 200 questions were submitted, and a special jury of experts in the field of STEM disciplines in Bulgaria (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) identified the 30 most interesting, which were sent to NASA. There they will be reduced to 15, the answers to which we will learn personally from the astronauts of the International Space Station (ISS) on July 26, Ekaterina Dimitrova from the Atlantic Club explains in an interview for BNR.

"90% of the children's questions are related to life of the International Space Station - how do the astronauts survive there, how does the station get enough fuel, issues related to gravity, what can the ISS astronauts plant and grow. Generally questions related to survival in space and specifically at the station. There are extremely interesting questions, even phenomenal given they come from children who are very young - under 10-12 years."

According to Dr. Vladimir Bozhilov, from the Department of Astronomy at the Faculty of Physics of Sofia University, "Hello, Space! Bulgaria calling!” turns out to be yet another opportunity for youngsters to get even closer to the biggest mystery that humanity can solve - the study of space.

"This is the 101st event organized by NASA, but the first for Bulgarian students and the first for European students in general, as far as we were able to check with fellow organizers - said Dr. Bozhilov. - The purpose of the event is to promote the desire to study STEM disciplines and that is why the questions that each student could ask the astronauts, had to be those that cannot be easily answered on Google, i.e. they had to be such as to provoke the astronauts to respond to them. I'm going to say that these are two specific astronauts - the French engineer Thomas Pesquet from the European Space Agency, and the other is the American space engineer Mark T. Vande Hei."

On July 26, the videoconference conversation with the ISS will be live, between 5 and 7 pm Bulgarian time, as a final part of the initiative "Hello, Space! Bulgaria calling!” and the organizers promise to turn the event into an all-day children's festival of science in the country.

"Throughout the day in Sofia Tech Park we will organize over 15 workshops for children and students related to physics, mathematics, there will be all kinds of experiments, research activities and simulations. There will be inspiring lectures by scientists from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, by Bulgarian scientists who have become famous around the world and will literally join live from countries such as Switzerland and the United States. It is free and we invite everyone who wants to register for a specific workshop and reserve a place to participate, " explains Ekaterina Dimitrova from the Atlantic Club.

 “Hello, Space! Bulgaria speaking!” is organized on the occasion of 30 years since the establishment of the Atlantic Club in Bulgaria, and is carried out in partnership with NASA, the Ministry of Education and Science of Bulgaria, the US Embassy in Sofia and scientific, technological and non-governmental organizations united in the STEM cluster.

"Hello, Space! Bulgaria calling!” is organized on the occasion of 30 years since the establishment of the Atlantic Club in Bulgaria, and is in partnership with NASA, the Ministry of Education and Science of Bulgaria, the US Embassy in Sofia and scientific, technological and non-governmental organizations united in the STEM cluster.


Compiled by Vessela Krasteva /based on interviews from BNR’s Hristo Botev channel and BNR Blagoevgrad/


English version Rositsa Petkova

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