40 Years from the First Satellite Signal from Bulgaria to Space
August 17 this year makes 40 years since the launch of the first satellite-to-space signal in Bulgaria. The occasion was the opening of the international "Universiada 77" on August 17, 1977. The ceremony is transmitted directly to the cosmos from the newly-built 30 km from Sofia station, then called Shipka Earth Space Station, now called "Plan". The event marks the beginning of satellite communications and satellite TV in the country.
The direct broadcast from the National Stadium "Vasil Levski" started exactly at 17:33. The signal from the stadium was broadcast next to the TV tower in Sofia and from there on an analogue radio relay line reached the station, from where it was emitted to space by a 60-ton satellite dish with a diameter of 12 meters. Thus, exactly 40 years ago, for the first time, a picture from Bulgaria reached the viewers of eight countries, at that time members of the international satellite association "Intersputnik".
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