PhD Titi Preda, Head of Laboratory
The laboratory was created in 1990 as the Group of Nuclear Astrophysics and Cosmic Rays, forming part of the Space Research Laboratory of the Institute for Gravity and Space Sciences - IGSS.
But the history of the group begins with the '60 when Dr. Erwin M. Friedlander became the head of the Cosmic Rays Laboratory. Shortly after that Dr. Friedlander has been chose as Corespondent Member of Romanian Academy beeing at the time the youngest member.
Since that time there have emerged two main research directions that have become clear in time, preserved and developed to date: space science and high energy physics
Space science have been focused on the study of cosmic rays, corpuscular radiation mainly. For this purpose all the infrastructure developed in time has been used. The research has extended to study cosmic rays particles spectra at high altitude by placing detectors in Bucegi mountains.
In 1965 development of international collaboration have been proposed for research and use of outer space for peaceful purposes by studing the scientific and technical posibilities and interests of different countries. In 1967, following negotiations over the content and form of such collaboration a comprehensive program named INTERCOSMOS PROGRAM has been completed.
As a natural continuation, after starting INTERCOSMOS program, research in the Cosmic Rays Laboratory were extended in space, the first experiment being performed in 1972 on board an artificial satellite INTERKOSMOS 6, the first Romanian experiment on Earth orbit.
In the high energy physics research, benefiting from the fact that Romania became a founding member of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna - Russia, Cosmic Ray Laboratory researchers have been involved from the beginning of the JINR activities in experiments at High Energy laboratory. Collaboration with CERN - Geneva has started almost in the same period.
In 1976, with reorganization of Magurele Platform, the Cosmic Ray Laboratory turned into Space Sciences Laboratory which, by joining the Astronomical Observatory of the Romanian Academy, formed the Center for Astronomy and Space Sciences, institute with no legal status as all other institutions from Magurele Platform, within the Institute for Physics and Nuclear Engineering - IFIN and has worked in this form until 1990. Throughout the period of operation, Astronomy and Space Sciences Center was led by Dr. George Stanila - director, Dr. Maria Haiduc - head of the Space Sciences Laboratory and Scientific Council Chairman and Dr. Victor Ionescu - Head of Astronomy Department.
During this period the Space Sciences Laboratory continued to conduct research on the two main directions: space science and high energy physics.
In high energy physics field collaborations with the laboratories of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research - Dubna, especially with High Energy Laboratory and CERN - Geneva have continued to grow.
A breakthrough in this period was participation in the experimental discovery of the new type of natural radioactivity with heavy ion emission (clusters) heavy in 1984. In this field was discovered the 24Ne ion emission from 231Pa nuclide and were estimated the lower limits of the ratio of decay for nuclei 233U, 230Th, 237Np and 241Am. This breakthrough has been recognized by inclusion in the nuclides map, published in the United States, as property of the nuclide 231Pa.
In the field of space research, during 1976 - 1990, continuing the tradition previously learned, was very fruitful.
Overall, the participation of researchers from the Institute of Atomic Physics, especially those of the Cosmic Ray Laboratory, Centre for Astronomy and Space Sciences and Institute of Space Sciences, at experiments on satellites board and manned space stations was constant over time with a obviously maximum in 1981 when the highest number of simultaneous experiments on Earth orbit were performed.