Skip to content

Mission Zero Official Guidelines

Participants follow our handy step-by-step guide to write a short program in Python, using the Mission Zero Sense HAT web emulator:

  • Create a personalised image (or series of images) to remind the astronauts of home

  • Take a reading from the colour and luminosity sensor on the Astro Pi computer

  • Use the sensor reading to set the colour of the background in your personalised image

The theme for Mission Zero 2023/24 is ‘flora and fauna’. Images could represent any aspect of this theme, such as flowers, trees, animals, or insects, as long as they follow the guidelines below. Get creative!

All entries that meet the eligibility criteria and follow the official guidelines for participating in Mission Zero will have their program run in space!

Eligibility Criteria

To take part in Mission Zero, participants must be:

  • Aged 19 or younger at the time of submission

  • Working individually or in a team of up to 4 young people

  • Supervised by a mentor such as a teacher, parent, Scout leader, or Code Club or CoderDojo leader, who will need to register for a Raspberry Pi account to access their

    Mission Hub.

  • Enrolled full-time in a primary or secondary school in an ESA Member State, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, or Slovenia; or a member of a Scout group, coding or after-school club, or certified home school located in an ESA Member State, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, or Slovenia.

  • Part of a team in which at least 50% of team members are citizens of an ESA Member State, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, or Slovenia.

For a full list of ESA Member States, see the full eligibility criteria.

Mission Zero timeline 2023/2024

18 September 2023 Challenge launch

Mentors register their teams and young people work on their Mission Zero programs.

25 March 2024 Challenge end

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

May 2024 Submissions are uploaded and run on the ISS

If the submission follows the official guidelines and is made by an eligible team, the program will be run in space.

June 2024 Certificates are sent to participants

Teams will receive a certificate that shows the location of the ISS when their program was run!

How to take part

  1. The team mentor needs to register for Mission Zero via the ‘Mentor sign up & log in’ button at You will need a Raspberry Pi account to register. If you already have a Raspberry Pi account, you will be asked to log in; if you do not, you will be able to create one. Once you have registered, you will be taken to your Mission Hub.

  2. Mentors will be the point of contact with the Astro Pi team and will receive information via their Mission Hub.

  3. When mentors register for Mission Zero, they will receive a unique classroom code. All teams that are supervised by the same mentor will use the same classroom code when submitting their entries. Please note that you cannot use your classroom code from last year, and will need to register for a new classroom code.

  4. There is no limit to the number of entries a school or club can submit, but each student or young person can only enter once, either individually or as part of a team.

  5. Teams complete their program using the step-by-step guide and follow the steps to submit their entry using the classroom code. Teams will need to provide each team member’s first name and their team name. This is what will appear on your certificate, so please make sure this information is correct. Please do not include team members’ surnames. Please note that a program cannot be changed once it has been submitted.

  6. Mentors can view their teams’ details and a link to a snapshot of their programs from their Mission Hub.

  7. All eligible entries that follow the official guidelines are automatically granted flight status. Teams will have their programs run in space in Spring 2024.

  8. Mentors will receive official Mission Zero certificates for each team that submitted an entry using their classroom code, by logging in to their Mission Hub. We will notify you in June 2024 when the certificates are available to download.

Please note:

Your team name, program code, and images must not include any of the following:

  • Anything that could be interpreted as being of an illegal, political, or sensitive nature

  • Flags, as they can be considered politically sensitive

  • Anything that references unpleasantness or harm to another person

  • Personal data such as telephone numbers, social media handles, and email addresses

  • Obscene images

  • Special characters or emojis

  • Bad language or swearing

Your program must not run for longer than 30 seconds.

If the mentor is a parent participating from home, they must only register their own children. If children wish to participate in Mission Zero as part of a larger team, they should ask their teacher or club mentor to register them as a group.

The deadline for submitting entries to Mission Zero is 25 March 2024. Late entries cannot be accepted.

If an entry does not comply with these guidelines, it will not be run on the ISS and the participants will not receive a certificate.

If you have any questions, please contact the Astro Pi team at: [email protected]

The European Astro Pi Challenge is an ESA Education project run in collaboration with the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

For more information on ESA Education projects, head to:

For more information on the Raspberry Pi Foundation, head to: