On 14 May, 1981, Dumitru-Dorin Prunariu flew to space aboard Soyuz 40 on a joint Russian-Romanian space mission. After 7 days, 20 hours and 41 minutes in space, Dorin became the first – and to this day the only Romanian astronaut. With history made, he is a national hero.
This May, Dorin celebrated his historic 35th spaceflight anniversary with celebrations across Romania. In partnership with Discovery Channel Romania, Asteroid Day Co-Founder and Filmmaker Grig Richters has produced “Astronauts in Conversation” – a new film series with legendary space explorers Michel Tognini, Andre Kuipers, Helen Sharman, Richard Richards and Dorin Prunariu. During the next six weeks, one episode of this new series will be released each Tuesday where we will learn from these amazing space travelers what it means to go to space and how it changed their lives. In support of the Asteroid Day movement, they also talk about gaining greater insight into asteroids and the importance of detecting and being prepared to deflect asteroids headed towards Earth.
Dorin Prunariu was the 103rd human to fly to space and one of the early founders of the Association of Space Explorers (ASE). Today, he serves on the organization’s Executive Board and as International President. He is also ASE’s representative to the United Nations Committee On the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN COPUOS) and the first Asteroid Day Ambassador.