Two asteroids in the solar system get Romanian names
Two asteroids in the solar system received Romanian names. They are now named after Marius-Ioan Piso, the president of the Romanian Space Agency (ROSA), and Dumitru-Dorin Prunariu, the first and only Romanian cosmonaut.
The new asteroid names ─ (10466) Marius-Ioan and (10707) Prunariu ─ were announced in the circular published by the International Astronomical Union in April 2017, according to a statement from Romanian Space Agency. The Romanian Academy's Astronomical Institute suggested the names.
(10466) Marius-Ioan is an asteroid discovered on March 1, 1981. Its name now honors the professional activity of Romanian Dr. Phys. Marius-Ioan Piso. His name is linked to the establishment of the Romanian Space Agency (ROSA) in 1991 and the achievement of the organization’s independence four years later, to the founding of the Institute of Space Science, but also to the start of the cooperation between Romania and European Space Agency (ESA). Due to his constant concern regarding space research and technology development in Romania, this cooperation resulted in the country’s accession to the European Space Agency in January 2011.
Marius-Ioan Piso contributed to the development of space policies in Romania and, in 2003, he took part in the drafting of the first European Space Policy document, reads the statement. At present, he is president and executive director of the Romanian Space Agency, and also member of the Board of Trustees at the International Academy of Astronautics (as of 2006), national representative at the NATO Science Committee (as of 2004), member of the Board of NATO RTO Space Technology Advisory Group (as of 2005), and representative of Romania at the European Space Agency (as of 1998).
The (10707) Prunariu asteroid was also discovered in 1981, but a few months later, on October 24. Its name is now connected to the first and only Romanian cosmonaut who, at the age of 28, flew aboard Soyuz 40 to the Salyut 6 space laboratory during an 8-day long mission. Dumitru-Dorin Prunariu is honorary president of the Romanian Space Agency and vice-chairman of the International Relations Committee of the European Space Agency (ESA).
Irina Popescu, email@example.com
(Photo source: Rosa.ro)