DUMITRU PRUNARIU, THE ROMANIAN WHO CONQUERED SPACE

10 Mar 2018
Dumitru Prunariu has achieved something that every child dreams of: flying into space. He is the first Romanian to have been into space, and the 103rd human in the entire world who accomplished an 8-day space flight on board Soyuz-40 spacecraft and Saliut-6 space station in May 1981. A great achievement followed by many other accomplishments, as Mr. Prunariu is one of the founding members of the Association of Space Explorers (ASE), has led the Romanian Space Agency for six years, is a full member and trustee of the International Academy of Astronautics, an Honorary Member of the Romanian Academy and member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, and many more.
He also co-authored several books regarding space technology and space flight, has published numerous scientific papers and delivered a large number of scientific lectures to audiences all around the world.
 
And, as any of us humans just dream of, an asteroid was given the name of this first Romanian cosmonaut, respectively “Asteroid 10707 Prunariu”.
 
In 2018, for the Centennial Year celebration, Mr. Dumitru Prunariu accepted to be photographed for the project “100 de chipuri”, and to have his photo included in the visual panoply of Romania’s most emblematic contemporary figures. During his visit to the Athénée Palace Hilton, he shared a little about what it means for him to be a role model, an exceptional Romanian. 
 
You are one of the 100 Romanians chosen in a project that celebrates commitment, dedication, and passion in their activity. What does it mean for you to be an outstanding person, a role model in your field?
I am not the only remarkable man in the field of astronautics, nor am I the only landmark in this domain; nevertheless, through the uniqueness of the scientific and human adventure that I had by being the first man of the country to fly to space, I made history and I am considered, as you say, a remarkable figure. This, of course, brings some satisfaction, but first I take responsibility for all the obligations that result from this. Children and young people dream of reaching heights, and the first perception of these heights is given by touching the sky, and, going further, the space; and the human symbol for these heights is the man flying to space, just like myself. People need models. Unfortunately, nowadays society offers fewer and fewer role models. I do my best to embody and to remain the symbol that children and young people need, to infuse their desire to reach as high as possible in any area, and to inspire them in their professional aspirations. In addition, I continue my work of representing and promoting Romania in international space institutions, where for decades I have been known and appreciated, and where I can bring benefits to all of us. 
 
Is there any memory that takes you back to Athénée Palace?
Athéenée Palace hosts many important events, organized with much style and elegance, where I am invited to participate or which I help organise. This is the place where for many years the year-end receptions of the Romanian Space Agency have taken place. Also, this is where I had the opportunity to meet state senators, monarchs, or leaders of prestigious institutions. In 1999, I hosted here the Saudi astronaut, His Royal Highness Prince Sultan Bin Salman Saud, one of the members of the Saudi royal family, who accepted my invitation to attend the congress organized in Bucharest by the only professional association of astronauts in the world, the Association of Space Explorers. And there are many other milestones in my personal and professional life that are related to the Athénée Palace hotel.
 
THE 2018 SPACE ODYSSEY SALAD BOWL
One of the most fascinating interpretations of the Stanley Kubrick’s classic film 2001, A Space Odyssey, is that it is about food and space exploration!
From the opening scenes, where the primates discover the taste of meat, to the concept of futuristic liquefied foods, it subjects the plausibility of Space exploration and colonization to our dependence to real, nutritious and healthy food.
 
Our homage to Dumitru Prunariu is an ultra-nutritious vegetarian salad with most delicious Romanian raw and cooked vegetables: beetroot, lentils, cauliflower, carrots, loboda, telemea, superfoods, nuts and seeds.
 
We invite you to taste this “space odyssey salad bowl” in Café Athénée during March 12-18, 2018.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
DUMITRU PRUNARIU, THE ROMANIAN WHO CONQUERED SPACE
DUMITRU PRUNARIU, THE ROMANIAN WHO CONQUERED SPACE
DUMITRU PRUNARIU, THE ROMANIAN WHO CONQUERED SPACE
DUMITRU PRUNARIU, THE ROMANIAN WHO CONQUERED SPACE
DUMITRU PRUNARIU, THE ROMANIAN WHO CONQUERED SPACE

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