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40 years since the first Bulgarian artificial satellite was launched into space

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On August 7, 1981at 13:35, the first Bulgarian artificial satellite "Intercosmos Bulgaria - 1300" was launched into outer space from the spaceport "Plasetsk" in Russia. It is also known as "Intercosmos 22", and its launch into orbit was dedicated to the 1,300th anniversary of the founding of the Bulgarian state.

The satellite was manufactured in Bulgaria on a design and development of the Institute for Space Research and Technology at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, and weighs 1,500 kg. It was launched into an almost polar orbit with an altitude of about 900 km, with a complex of 11 Bulgarian scientific appliances for measuring plasma and studying ionospheric-magnetospheric interactions, as well as a laser reflector for geodetic measurements.

Two years earlier, Bulgaria had another major space breakthrough - on board the Soyuz 33 spacecraft, on April 10, 1979, the first Bulgarian cosmonaut Georgi Ivanov took off on the first Bulgarian voyage in space. Together with the Russian Nikolai Rukavishnikov, he spent forty-seven hours and one minute in Earth orbit. Bulgaria became the6th country in the world with its own astronaut in outer space and the third to create space food.

You can learn more about the Bulgarian space achievements in the publication from Radio Bulgaria’s Best collection “Bulgarian cosmonaut Aleksandar Aleksandrov: We need a strong economy in order to send a third Bulgarian in space”.

Compiled by Elena Karkalanova

English Rositsa Petkova

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