“Hello, Space! Bulgaria Calling” Festival Soars to New Heights with NASA Support, Renowned Speakers, and Over 50 Inspiring Activities in its Third Edition

The third edition of “Hello, Space! Bulgaria Calling!” was successfully organized by the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria in cooperation with Sofia Tech Park and the Atlantic Cluster Space and STEAM. The event was held on June 29, 2023 at Sofia Tech Park and received invaluable support from the US Embassy in Sofia and NASA. This year, the festival was proud to secure 33 sponsorships and partnerships with prominent local and international businesses and NGOs.

The primary mission of the festival was to develop and nurture the aspirations of young minds by encouraging them to dream, think and pursue careers in STEAM fields, thus preparing them to become the scientists of the future. At the same time, the festival aimed to create an enjoyable and engaging environment for all participants.
A notable highlight of the event was the opportunity given to the Bulgarian students to watch a live presentation by Dr. Swati Mohan, a well-established aerospace engineer who has also served as the operations manager for the guidance and control of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission. In addition, students had the privilege of interacting with Lockheed Martin test pilot Gregory “Box” Johnson, participating in discussions and asking questions of these respected professionals.

This year’s festival was held under the overall theme of “Ahead of the Future!” and featured a number of engaging activities. Participants were invited to a virtual tour of CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, which provided an immersive experience. In addition, the festival included a demonstration flight over the skies of Sofia Tech Park by world record holder Nikolay Kalaidjiev, who captivated the audience with his remarkable skills. The Special Forces Brigade of the Bulgarian Army also conducted impressive demonstrations, which further contributed to the attractiveness of the event.

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During the festival, many distinguished speakers delivered inspiring speeches to the audience. Distinguished personalities such as Dr. Solomon Passy and US Ambassador to Bulgaria Kenneth Merten shared their views along with outstanding young speakers who demonstrated their outstanding abilities and contributions in the field of space exploration both in Bulgaria and internationally.

In summary, the event featured over 50 diverse activities, including scientific workshops, interactive exhibitions, competitions and award ceremonies. In addition, the festival boasted an impressive line-up of 34 guest speakers who shared their knowledge and expertise through engaging speeches and informative presentations. “Hello, Space! Bulgaria Calling!” successfully achieved its goals to encourage scientific curiosity, support STEAM education and inspire the next generation of innovators.

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