Boris Valníček (April 11, 1927 Jičín, Czechoslovakia - September 29, 2021) was a Czech astrophysicist, astronomer, scientist, popularizer of science in the field of astronomy and astrophysics, founder and leader of Czechoslovak space research and Czechoslovak X-ray astronomy and holder of many state and departmental honors and veteran of the resistance of World War II.
Boris Valníček was born on April 11, 1927 in Jičín in what was then Czechoslovakia. His father Jan Valníček was a former Czechoslovak legionary who worked in Russia (where he also met his wife and mother Boris Valníček Ekaterina) and became a soldier even after the end of the First World War, when around 1930 he joined the Military Technical Institute in Prague. The family then moved to Prague, where Boris graduated from the Real Grammar School in Karlín and during the Second World War, between 1943 and 1945, he worked in the domestic resistance in the group Předvoj.
Between 1946 and 1950, he studied meteorology and experimental physics at the Faculty of Science of Charles University. In 1950 he joined the Astronomical Institute of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, where he originally dealt with meteorology and long-term weather changes, but later began work in solar physics and in 1953 he defended his dissertation on solar influences in meteorology. As part of his research, he also dealt with the development of instrumentation for observing the Sun.
After the establishment of the INTERKOSMOS organization in 1967, he led the work on the preparation of Czechoslovak space experiments as the head of the space research department of the Astronomical Institute of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. In 1984 he received the scientific degree of Doctor of Mathematical and Physical Sciences. He has been retired since 1992.
Scientific and popularisation activities
Boris Valníček worked at the Astronomical Institute of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, where he worked for many years as the leader of the space research group and is the author of more than 130 scientific and professional publications. His greatest professional achievements include leading, organizing and coordinating the Czechoslovak participation in the Interkosmos space program, the purpose of which was astronomical research using satellites launched into space. Under his leadership, organization and established cooperation with other Czechoslovak institutes and factories, top devices were created, which were sent into space and are behind the world's recognized discoveries and research. In addition to the transmitted probes, the purpose of which was, for example, to measure the soft X-rays of the Sun and to observe aerosol layers at sunset behind the Earth, the greatest success was Czechoslovakia. a team led by Dr. Flatbed design and construction of automatic stabilization platforms. The aim of these platforms was to enable a targeted view and orientation on the researched object. They were used on Vega probes to explore Halley's Comet and the planet Venus, as well as on the orbital manned station Mir.
Boris Valníček is the author of several books and a large number of popular science and popular articles. His work can be found, for example, in the magazines Vesmír, Živa and the periodical Britské listy. He used to be a popularizer of astronomy and space research on television. He commented on live broadcasts or recordings from the launches of spaceships into space, landing on the moon, and participated in children's programs Magion. He has contributed to the education of young people through lectures in schools, universities, assemblies, conferences, hobby institutions and scout organizations. He was a member of a team of authors who wrote texts for radio broadcasts, edited by editor Ivo Budil. For example, the Radio University called "Into the Near and Far Universes" or "Fundamentals of Cosmonautics".
He was a member of the Czech Astronomical Society.