Last updated: 01.10.2005.

30th Anniversary of the First Bulgarian Space Instruments-Building Project

Tanja Ivanova



Bulgarian scientists started their organized participation in space research in 1969 when the Group of Space Physics (GSP) at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences was created. The Bulgarian space era started with direct exploration of the ionosphere in the field of Space Physics a field of great importance for the near space because even the life on Earth depends on the ionosphere. The first Bulgarian probe equipment for space plasma parameter measurement, named P-1, was developed and launched on board the satellite Intercosmos-8 on December 1, 1972.

Launching successfully its own scientific space equipment Bulgaria ranked 18th in the list of the "space countries", according to a convention adopted by the United Nations in 1968. This year we celebrate the 30th anniversary of this historical date.

GSP grew into the Central Laboratory for Space Research in 1975 and the Space Research Institute in 1987. The Bulgarian researchers participated successfully in the East European "Intercosmos" Program, developing equipment and carrying out experiments onboard the satellites "Intercosmos 8, 12, 14, 19" and the heavy geophysical rockets "Vertical - 3, 4, 6, 7, 10". The scientific programs and equipment for the flight of the first (1979) and the second (1988) Bulgarian cosmonauts were entirely designed by Bulgarian scientists. Two satellites were launched in 1981 with Bulgarian scientific equipment for ionosphere-magnetosphere measurements and remote sensing of the Earth. The Bulgarian scientists also participated successfully in international programs such as VENUS-HALLEY (1985), PHOBOS (1988), AKTIVEN (1989), APEX (1990) and INTEBALL (1995-96). Special attention is paid to the achievements of the Bulgarian scientists in the Space Biology and Medicine trend - the development and operation of the SVET Space Greenhouse and the Neurolab-B complex onboard the MIR Orbital Station during the last 15 years are described.




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