For nearly two years now, a group of Czech scientists and academics has been working on a national planetary defence strategy for the Czech Republic, funded by a government grant. The leader of the project is political scientist Dr Nikola Schmidt. Asteroids are generally perceived as the greatest threat to Earth from space and so I began by asking him what sizes of asteroids we should be worried about?
The new European Space Agency will be based in Prague from 2021 onwards,
the Czech Ministry of Transport announced on Wednesday.
The agency will be created by extending the existing European GNSS Agency (GSA), which is already based in the Czech capital. It is currently mainly responsible for operating the Galileo satellite navigation system and employs 100 people.
The new agency – the European Union Agency for the Space Program (EUSPA) – will employ approximately 700 people. Apart from developing satellite telecommunications it will monitor the nearby surroundings of the Earth.
The EUSPA will also manage of Copernicus which, along with Galileo, have become global references in satellite positioning and earth observation, and the governmental satellite communications initiative Govsatcom.
Czech scientists and companies will join a Chinese mission in space to
study the state of matter under extreme conditions of density, gravity and
Czech participation in the preparatory phase of the enhanced X-ray Timing and Polarimetry mission (eXTP) will be supported by the Ministry of Education via a CZK 12.65 million contribution to the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Prodex programme.
The team comprises scientists from the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences and Silesian University in Opava in cooperation with Czech industry.
They will help design and build precision Detector and Collimator Frames to measure x-rays from the closest black holes and neutron stars.
China’s eXTP mission is due to launch no later than 2027.
Peter Zamarovský, a professor at the Czech Technical University (ČVUT) in
Prague, has been awarded this year’s Littera Astronomica prize for his
literary work linking natural sciences and philosophy.
Prof. Zamarovský lectures on philosophy and at other institutions also teaches physics and digital photography.
The Czech Astronomical Society said he received the award for popularizing philosophy, physics and astronomy. He is due to receive it on Friday at the 29th Autumn Book Fair in Havlíčkův Brod.
Influential scientists gathered in Prague this week to discuss the possibility of constructing a very powerful laser that would be used to propel probes to distant solar systems at extremely high speeds. Hopes are that the advanced technology developed in the HiLase laboratory in the Central Bohemian village of Dolní Břežany could be used in constructing the laser.
In the early days of space travel, years before the Apollo 11 mission, an Austrian journalist walked into a travel office in Vienna asking to reserve a flight to the Moon. Pan American Airways took his reservation, launching what would years later become the carrier’s ‘First Moon Flights Club’. Among the nearly 100,000 people who joined it was the grandfather of Czech documentary film producer Veronika Janatková. Her directorial debut, ‘Ticket to the Moon’, offers a unique perspective on universal longings across the divide of the Iron Curtain,
The 1969 moon landing glued millions of people around the world to their TV sets 50 years ago. For Czechs and Slovaks, this historic event had a special, bittersweet, taste. Vít Pohanka spoke to two Czech journalists who had the unique opportunity to cover the Apollo flight both from the USA and Prague.
The Žižkov television tower in Prague, once voted the world’s second-ugliest building, will host a virtual space launch this Saturday evening – thanks to an ambitious videomapping project. Filip Liška, who came up with the idea, says the tower is the ideal stand-in for the real Apollo 11 launcher, from which astronauts embarked on the first Moon landing, 50 years ago.
Observatories in the Czech Republic will remain open in the night hours on
Tuesday night to enable the public to view the expected partial lunar
eclipse due to start at 11.30pm.
If observation conditions are good people would also be able to glimpse the planets Jupiter and Saturn and a trace of the Milky Way. The partial eclipse should be visible from across Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and the US.
The next partial lunar eclipse is due to take place early next year.
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