17 March 2011, 11:00 h, Sheraton Hotel, Sofia
The Atlantic Club of Bulgaria, together with the Embassy of the United States to Bulgaria, organized an event with the renowned NASA astronaut Dr. Story Musgrave. The presentation took place on March 17th ,2011 at Sheraton Hotel in Sofia. Dr. Musgrave had over 30 years of experience as a NASA astronaut and had spent almost 1 282 hours in space. He had flown on all 5 space shuttles and in 1993 was chosen to lead the mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.
In his presentation, Dr. Musgrave told some inspiring stories about his life. Although he never graduated from school, on 18 he was already an aviation electrician and an instrument technician and was responsible for the condition of US warplanes during the Korean War. The American astronaut, who was part of the crew of space shuttle Challengers maiden voyage, drew on his considerable experience in space flights and related the experience and pressure one felt on such missions.
Dr. Story Musgrave paid special attention to Bulgarian aspirations for space research and achievements. As far as he was concerned, Bulgaria had a great potential and should work toward creating its own space program. He maintained that focusing only on sending another Bulgarian astronaut to space was not enough.
Dr. Musgrave also touched upon the idea of intelligent life in space. In his opinion, such life undoubtedly existed within the depths of the Cosmos, but there was no evidence of alien visits to Earth.
When asked the question what the current plans for the American space program were, Dr. Musgrave replied that, at that moment, the United States had no clear objectives set before their space program, since the plans to send a human mission on Mars had been put on hold indefinitely.