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Mission Space Lab Guidelines

Everything you need to know to create an experiment idea for Mission Space Lab.

Phase 1: Design

13 September – 29 October 2021

In Phase 1, your team will come up with an idea for the experiment you want to run on the Astro Pi computers on board the ISS.

You will need to do the following:

1. Organise your team

A team must consist of two to six students or young people, aged 19 years or younger, and half the team members must be citizens of an eligible country. Each team needs a teacher or mentor.

This teacher/mentor will support the team during the challenge, submit their experiment idea, program, and final report to us, and be the main point of contact for the Astro Pi judges.

Mentor sign-up

2. Choose your theme

There are two Mission Space Lab themes you can choose between, depending on what you would like your experiment to investigate.

Life in Earth Life in space

3. Design your experiment together


It is crucial that your team understands the limitations of the Astro Pi hardware and what you’re not allowed to do in your experiment. Your idea must fulfil the criteria in the following checklist, otherwise your idea may be disqualified.

Experiment checklist

Submitting the experiment idea

Mentors can use the Astro Pi dashboard to enter the team details and submit the experiment idea. You should be able to answer these two questions:

  • What is your experiment idea?
  • How will you use the Astro Pi computers to perform your experiment?

Once the mentor has signed up, your mentor will be contacted by the Astro Pi team to register the details for the team and their experiment idea.

Your answers to these questions will help us assess your experiment for its feasibility, scientific value, and creativity.


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