Mission Space Lab phase 2 begins!

7 November 2017

The Raspberry Pi Foundation and the European Space Agency are excited to announce that phase 2 of Mission Space Lab is now underway!

Teams from a record 21 ESA member countries proposed successful experiment ideas and have been selected to proceed onto phase 2. These teams will have the chance to run their experiment on-board the ISS for three hours (two orbits) in spring of 2018.

The Astro Pi kit

The Astro Pi kit

The highly prized Astro Pi kits are now shipping to these teams! When yours arrives, we would love to see your team posing with it — please tweet your pictures to @astro_pi.

The kit contains everything you need to write the Python code which will run your experiment. Optionally, teams can also use a 3D printer to make an exact replica of the Astro Pi flight units which are up in space.

The video below is a step-by-step guide showing you how to do this.

How to build a 3D printed Astro Pi flight case

3D print your own Astro Pi flight case https://www.raspberrypi.org/learning/astro-pi-flight-case/ – Learn more about Astro Pi https://astro-pi.org/ – French ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet explains our latest challenge https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjwaJ5Xumvs This video is copyright the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and is dual licensed under the YouTube Standard license and Creative Commons CC BY-SA 4.0 license.

Additionally, the kit also comes with a poster describing the Astro Pi coding rules, i.e. the basic do’s and don’ts for your experiment’s code. It’s important to follow these, so please put the poster up near where you’ll be programming.

How do I submit my code?

Thoroughly test your code, ensure it follows the coding rules, and do a full three-hour simulation of the experiment. When you’re sure everything is ready and working as you planned it, go to the Mission Space Lab timeline and click Submit code. You can submit your entry between 7 January and 7 February 2018.

Judging criteria

Entries will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Scientific value
  • Creativity and originality
  • Feasibility of the mission within the ISS environment
  • Code readability and quality
  • Overall rigour, clarity, and comprehensiveness


Send any questions you have regarding the European Astro Pi Challenge to astropi@esa.int. For technical questions, please check the FAQ or join the Astro Pi forums. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, please send an email to enquiries@astro-pi.org.

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