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Mission Zero

Young people write a simple program to take a humidity reading onboard the International Space Station and communicate it to the astronauts with a personalised message, which will be displayed for 30 seconds!

  • 1 hour
  • Age 14 and under
  • Suitable for beginners

How to take part

  • Teachers/mentors register for Mission Zero and receive a classroom code.
  • Students and young people write their programs and submit them using the classroom code.
  • The programs are deployed and run on the International Space Station!

Can I take part?

Mission Zero is open to young people aged 14 or younger from ESA Member States, or Slovenia, Canada, Latvia, or Malta. Participants can submit entries either individually or as part of a team of 2–4 young people. Participants must be supervised by a teacher or mentor, who will submit their programs. Check our eligibility criteria for more information.

Entries for Mission Zero 2020/2021 are open from 14 September 2020 to 19 March 2021.

The European Union (EU) and European Space Agency (ESA) flags flying

It’s easy to get started

  • You can complete Mission Zero in around an hour.
  • You don’t need any programming knowledge to take part in Mission Zero.
  • If your team follows the guidelines, and your program doesn’t contain any errors, it is guaranteed to run on the ISS!

Official guidelines

Our official guidelines contain everything you need to know to participate in Mission Zero.

Download PDF

Project timeline 2020/2021

  1. Challenge launch

    14 September 2020

    Young people can start working on their Mission Zero programs. Our submissions form opens on

  2. Challenge end

    19 March 2021

    Programs must be submitted by this date to run on the ISS.

  3. Confirmation of flight status

    May 2021

    Submissions are uploaded and run on the ISS.

  4. Participation certificates sent to participants

    June 2021

    If the submission meets the participation rules and is deemed an official submission, the team certificate will show the location of the ISS when the program was run!

Students and young people!

Check out our step-by-step Mission Zero project guide, then head over to to write your program!

Start coding

What do young people think about Mission Zero?

We asked some participants how they feel about the challenge, and why it’s important to them.


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