Interkosmos cosmonaut Georgi Ivanov was the first Bulgarian in space on Soyuz 33 in April 1979. He flew with Russian Nikolai Rukavishnikov to the Salyut 6 space station, but an engine failure forced the mission to be aborted, and the crew had to return to Earth without docking with the station.
The patch was designed and produced by the Russian Zvezda corporation. When the Interkosmos organisation was formed in 1976, new emblems for uniforms and pressure suits were needed to reflect the cooperative nature of the missions. When it was announced in 1977 that Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and East Germany would be participating in Interkosmos flights, it is likely that Zvezda was asked to produce the Bulgarian, Czechoslovak and East German joint mission Sokol-K suits and mission patches.