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Mission Zero

The 2021/22 Mission Zero Challenge has now closed. You can still complete the activity but won’t be able to submit it. The next Challenge will launch in Autumn 2022. Check social media and sign up to the Astro Pi newsletter - details at the bottom of this page.

  • 1 hour
  • Age 19 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 19 or younger from ESA Member States, or Slovenia, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, 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 2021/2022 are open from 13 September 2021 to 18 March 2022.

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

Help us name the new Astro Pi computers

This year, all Mission Zero participants will have the opportunity to vote for the names of the two new Astro Pi computers that we are sending to the International Space Station in December.

Find out more

The Astro Pi VIS and Astro Pi IR in their flight cases.

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 2021/2022

  1. Challenge launch

    13 September 2021

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

  2. Challenge end

    18 March 2022

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

  3. Confirmation of flight status

    May 2022

    Submissions are uploaded and run on the ISS.

  4. Participation certificates sent to participants

    June 2022

    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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