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16/11/2016

Former Cosmonaut Dumitru-Dorin Prunariu leads Roscosmos discussions for Blue Abyss

Former Cosmonaut Dumitru-Dorin Prunariu leads Roscosmos discussions for Blue Abyss

Extreme environment training, research and development company, Blue Abyss, appoints Retired Lieutenant-General Dumitru-Dorin Prunariu as Aerospace Consultant. Prunariu will act as an ambassador supporting Blue Abyss to further its engagement with international Space agencies.

Dumitru-Dorin Prunariu joins Blue Abyss as it prepares to build the world’s most comprehensive research, training and testing facility, designed to support marine and Space communities. As part of the company’s International Space Agency Engagement Programme, and following productive meetings with NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), Prunariu will lead discussions with Roscosmos, Russia’s Space Agency.

My role initially is to develop a pathway for engagement and ongoing collaboration with Roscosmos. This will enable us to better inform plans for the establishment of the Blue Abyss astronaut training centre, to ensure that it meets and exceeds future human spaceflight needs,” says Prunariu.

The first and only Romanian cosmonaut, Prunariu began his career as an engineer prior to enrolling in the Romanian Air Force. He was selected for spaceflight training in 1978 as part of the Intercosmos programme. Three years later, he joined Russian cosmonaut Leonid Popov on an eight-day Space mission on board Soyuz 40 to the Salyut 6 Space Laboratory.

Dumitru-Dorin Prunariu Soyuz 40

Romanian Cosmonaut Dumitru-Dorin Prunariu in 1981

Since then, Prunariu has held many high-ranking positions in the civil service. These include President of the Romanian Space Agency, Director of the Romanian Office for Science and Technology to the European Commission (ROST), Chairman of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN COPUOS), President of the Association of Space Explorers (ASE), and Vice-Chairman of the International Relations Committee of ESA.

He has received many awards and accolades over the last four decades including ‘Hero of Romania’, ‘Hero of the Soviet Union’, the Order ‘Aeronautical Virtue’, the Order ‘Star of Romania’ awarded by the President of Romania, and the ‘Medal for Merits in Space Exploration’ awarded by the President of the Russian Federation.

Prunariu is currently working for the Romanian Association for Space Technology and Industry (ROMSPACE), a private research association contracted to the Romanian Space Agency.

We’re so privileged to welcome yet another distinguished and experienced aerospace specialist to our team. Dorin is very well respected internationally in the field of human spaceflight. His expertise and reputation will be an enormous help in ensuring that Blue Abyss remains relevant and leads in the field of human spaceflight training and research,” says John Vickers, Managing Director, Blue Abyss.

Blue Abyss has assembled a number of reputable aerospace experts over the last 18 months. Professor Simon Evetts joined as Director of Space Operations in April 2015, followed by NASA’s Principal Investigator on Apollo’s human exploration of the Moon, Professor Walter Kuehnegger. Veteran NASA Astronaut Dr. Scott Parazynski was appointed earlier this year as Non-Executive Director, and Dr. Juergen Wenzel, Professor at the Technical University of Berlin, joined to consult on aerospace medicine and hyperbaric physiology.

Soyuz 40 Mission Patch image: ESA

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