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Georgi Ivanov ( ) (born Georgi Kakalov, born July 2, 1940) was the first Bulgarianmarker in space. He was a member of the National Assembly of Bulgaria in 1990.

Born in Lovechmarker, Georgi Kakalov attended the Military Air-force School in Dolna Mitropoliamarker. After completing the five-year program, he served in the Bulgarian National Army as a military pilot. A few years later he became an instructor and head of a division.

As soon as he entered the Soviet International Space Programme Intercosmos in 1978, he had to change his family name to Ivanov, because his original surname Kakalov occasionally had negative connotations in Russian. After intensive training, Ivanov was selected for the fourth mission under the Intercosmos program.

He, along with Sovietmarker cosmonaut Nikolai Rukavishnikov, was launched into space as part of the Soyuz 33 mission from Baikonur Cosmodromemarker on April 10, 1979, at 17:34 (GMT). Though take-off was smooth, the mission was a disaster, with severe damage of the engine preventing docking in orbit to Salyut 6 orbital station as it was initially planned. A premature return to Earth became the only possible decision for Ivanov and Rukavishnikov. Due to some additional technical problems landing was difficult to endure — more than 9Gs. When Soyuz 33 finally landed, it was 320 km southeast of Dzhezkazganmarker. It completed 31 orbits, and was in space for 1 day, 23 hours and 1 minute.

Ivanov was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union on April 13, 1979 Georgi Ivanov earned a Ph.D. in space engineering. He was elected to the National Assembly and took part in the creation of the new democratic Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria.

Since 1993, Ivanov has been the executive director of Air Sofia Ltd.

Till 1982 Ivanov was married to Natalya Rousanova and they had one daughter, Ani (born 1967). Later they divorced. Now he is married to Lidia and they have one son, Ivan (born 1984). His hobbies include skiing, fishing and golf. Ivanov is a Member of the ASE — Association of the Space Explorers. He founded the Future in Space Foundation.

See also

Bulgarian astronaut program


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