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Bulgarian Astrophysicist: Space Offers Eternal Inspiration
Bulgarian Astrophysicist: Space Offers Eternal Inspiration
Associate Professor PhD Vladimir Bozhilov at Inter Expo Center Forum "Homo Futuro" (BTA Photo)

Space offers an eternal inspiration, Associate Professor Vladimir Bozhilov, PhD, said. He is an astrophysicist and Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Physics of Sofia University, where he is also a lecturer at the Department of Astronomy. BTA approached him on the occasion of the World's Aviation and Cosmonautics Day.

In the interview, Bozhilov discussed what he believes the interest in space is due to, the contribution of Elon Musk to the modern development of space science, Bulgaria's competitiveness in the field and its possibilities in cutting-edge research.

In his words, the next mission to the moon is being actively worked on. In fact, since 1972 no humans have set foot there, but in about two years, at the end of 2026, this will most likely happen thanks to the NASA's Artemis campaign, which involves a huge number of countries and space agencies, among which Bulgaria has been since November of last year .

He believes that the reason for all this space progress and the rush to space is due to space visionaries like Elon Musk, who was the first to create sufficiently cheap access to space, so that every businessman can afford to invest in space equipment.

According to Bozhilov, Musk has managed to achieve this by investing in reusable rockets that bring the cost of access to space down to about USD100 million per launch. Nowadays, there are dozens of launches per month, which allow universities, entrepreneurs, students and space agencies to send small or larger missions. That is why space is really a subject of great interest, Bozhilov pointed out.

Bulgaria and space

Bulgaria boldly continues to develop and be at the forefront of space science due to the European Space Agency, where it is currently a cooperating member, the scientist said. Every year Bulgaria invests a certain amount as a contribution to the Agency, but it comes back in the form of competitions that are only for Bulgarian organisations, Bozhilov said. 

In 2021 the project under his leadership, Space Education, won such a competition. In two years they created nine brand new university courses aimed at creating leading space engineering degree courses in Bulgaria. All these nine courses were verified by experts from the European Space Agency. Sofia University now has a completely revamped master's programme in aerospace engineering and communications, added Bozhilov.

The astrophysicist considers Bulgaria to be competitive and involved in top scientific research. The Faculty of Physics is in the top 500 in its field and offers access to top equipment, thanks to colleagues from the Bulgarian National Astronomical Observatory Rozhen. The leading Bulgarian nano-satellite company EnduroSat has opened its first and largest teaching lab at the Faculty of Physics of Sofia University. Every student from the third year of studies and beyond can do their own research, Bozhilov added.

"The interest in space has indeed been in the dreams, philosophy and thoughts of people since earliest antiquity. Personally, I think the reason for this is that each of us, since we were children, has been going out and looking at the sun during the day, the moon and the stars at night, that is, space has been with us since we were very young, and it is natural to ask ourselves if there are other beings like us. Are we alone in this beautiful, vast, immense universe? Are there other suns, are there other planets? All of this, when asked about, is part of the scientific quest. I deeply believe that each of us is truly a scientist in the moment and to the point where we don't stop searching. And space is an eternal inspiration," said Bozhilov.

The full interview is to be published in the BTA’s LIK magazine for literature, art and culture on April 22. The issue is themed "The Bulgarian Footprint in Space" and is inspired by the 45th anniversary of the flight of the first Bulgarian cosmonaut Georgi Ivanov, marked on April 10.

/MY/

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By 02:39 on 22.06.2024 Today`s news

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