Astro Pi is an annual science and coding competition where student-written code is run on the International Space Station!
Announcing the 2017-18 European Astro Pi challenge in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA). It’s open to students from all 22 ESA member countries, including associate members Canada and Slovenia. In Mission Zero, students aged up to 14 write a simple Python program that will display a message on the International Space Station for 30 seconds.
We want to show the possibilities of computer programming and encourage school-age young people to improve their digital literacy skills and further their interest in STEM subjects and associated careers. Spaceflight is often perceived as a very exciting but abstract idea by young people. Astro Pi gives them the opportunity to be an active participant in space science, rather than just an observer. Having a creation of theirs actually reach space and do something there is profoundly cool to them.
The Astro Pi payload was designed to not only be taken into space but also into classrooms. It consists of a Raspberry Pi computer and an add-on board that can sense conditions of the environment inside the station, detect how the Astro Pi is moving through space, and pick up the Earth’s magnetic field. Each of the two Astro Pis is also equipped with a camera; one has an infrared camera, and the other has a standard visible spectrum camera.
What would you do with this equipment? Look for cosmic rays? Make a time-lapse video of the Earth seen through a hatch window? Coming up with an interesting application of the Astro Pi’s capabilities is the premise of the Astro Pi competition.
Find out more and choose your mission on the home page.