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ROSA anniversary event 40 years since the space flight of Romanian cosmonaut Dumitru-Dorin Prunariu

on 14 May 2021

Today, 14 May 2021, from 11:00, the Romanian Space Agency (ROSA) is organising an event to mark the 40th anniversary of the first Romanian to fly into space. The event takes place online with the participation of Dr. Eng. cosmonaut Dumitru-Dorin Prunariu as Guest of Honor.

The “40 Years — The first flight of a Romanian in cosmic space and the Romanian space industry” event will be opened by Dr. Phys. Marius-Ioan Piso, ROSA President.

Dr. Eng. Sorin Ion Zgură, Director of the Institute of Space Science, Dr. Eng. Cătălin Nae, General Director of the National Institute for Aerospace Research “Elie Carafoli” — INCAS, Dr. Eng. Valentin Silivestru, General Director of the Romanian Research & Development Institute for Gas Turbines COMOTI and Dr. Eng. Flaviu Turcu, General Director of the National Institute for Research and Development of Isotopic and Molecular Technologies INCDTIM will be speaking about space.

The Soyuz 40 spacecraft was launched on 14 May 1981 at 20:16 local time in Romania with the Romanian cosmonaut Dumitru-Dorin Prunariu and the Russian commander Leonid Popov on board. The spacecraft coupled to the orbital space station Salyut 6 on 15 May at 21:50 local time in Romania.

Together with the station crew — the pilot-cosmonaut Vladimir Vasilievici Kovalionok, seconded by the pilot-cosmonaut Victor Petrovici Savinîh — they ran a number of 11 Romanian scientific experiments during the flight, four experiments from flight partners and several other experiments that were ongoing from other Intercosmos crews. The experiments were on Physics, Space Technology, Medicine and Biology topics. They included the study of Earth's magnetic field and its influence on living organisms, identifying new forms of existence of nuclear matter, investigating changes in cerebral, central and peripheral blood flow, as well as psychological tests.

The return to Earth of the Soyuz-40 mission took place on 22 May 1981, at 16:58 local time in Romania, after 7 days, 20 hours, 41 minutes and 52 seconds spent in space.

Dumitru Prunariu thus became the first Romanian to fly into space and the 103rd person in the world to achieve this feat.

The 40 years anniversary is also being celebrated through a series of events promoted by the Cosmonaut Dumitru Dorin Prunariu Foundation.

Image credit: ROSA