Science and research


Czechs and space research

photo:  (sxc.hu)

The contribution of Czech scientists to space research is by no means negligible. This field of scientific study was first introduced when Czechoslovakia became an active member of the international programme Interkosmos founded in 1967. Czechoslovakia was the third country in the world, after the USA and the Soviet Union, whose citizen got to space.

One of the early successes of Czech astronautics was sending our own astronaut into space. Vladimír Remek spent seven days on the board of the orbital station Salyut 6 in 1978. He participated in medical, biological, material and astronomic experiments and research.

According to the Czech Cosmic Office, the greatest achievements of Czech astronautics include:
  • Own artificial satellites Magion, which served for researching the characteristics of the magnetic field, ionosphere and plasma in the vicinity of Earth (1978–1996)
  • Melting furnaces for material research at the stations Salyut and MIR (1978–1995)
  • Adjustable platforms for the space probe Vega and the station MIR (1984, 1989)
  • Laser spectrometer for research of Mars’s moon Fobos (1988)
  • Microaccelerometer for measuring non-gravity forces (1992, 1996)
The Czech Republic is member of the most important European and world organisations dedicated to space research, such as the European Space Agency (ESA) from 2008, the International Organization of Space Communications INTERSPUTNIK (from 1972), the International Maritime Satellite Organisation INMARSAT and the International Telecommunications Satellite Organisation INTELSAT.

Nowadays, there are two key projects going on in Europe in the field of services based on astronautic applications: the Galileo programme (satellite navigation) and the GMES (Global Monitoring of Environment and Security) that gains information about processes on Earth.

There is scientific equipment of Czech production on the satellite Proba-2 sent by the ESA to the Earth’s orbit in 2009. These devices of Czech will be used to study cosmic plasma and the connection between the rapid changes of cosmic weather and changes of plasma. In 2012, the mission called Proba-3 should take place and Czech companies and scientists will collaborate on the development of a special telescope for this project.

The Czech Republic will participate in one more, perhaps more important space project, the probe Solar Orbiter, which will study the Sun. The project should be launched in 2017 and Czech scientists should cooperate in constructing the X-ray telescope, detector of radio and plasma waves, solar coronagraph and sensor for detecting proton/alpha particles.


Author: Andrea Kábelová
Source: Česká kosmická kancelář
Added: 04.02.2012

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