ESA title
Chris Cassidy overseeing the Mission Zero experiments

Astro Pi 2019/20: More than 6500 programs run on the ISS

02/06/2020 687 views 22 likes
ESA / Education / AstroPI

ESA Education, in collaboration with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, are excited to announce that 6350 teams of students and young people, from all 25 eligible countries, successfully entered Mission Zero, and had their programs run on the Astro Pi computers on board the International Space Station for 30 seconds each!

The teams measured the temperature inside the ISS Columbus module, and used the Astro Pi LED matrix to display the measurement together with a greeting to the astronauts, including Chris Cassidy, who oversaw this year’s experiments.

Astro Pi experiment
Astro Pi experiment

In addition, 208 teams of students and young people are currently participating in Phase 4 of Mission Space Lab. Over the last few weeks, each of these teams has had their scientific experiments run on either Astro Pi Ed or Astro Pi Izzy for 3 hours each.

Astro Pi Ed was helping the participants investigate life in space, using sensors to measure the conditions on the ISS and even mapping the magnetic field of Earth. Teams used Astro Pi Izzy’s near-infrared camera to investigate life on Earth, such as vegetation health and the impact of human life on our planet.

All Mission Space Lab teams have now received their data back from the ISS to analyse and summarise in their final scientific reports. Teams are receiving special guidance and advice on how best to collaborate remotely to write these reports during the COVID-19 pandemic, and have been given an extended submission deadline of 3 July 2020.

Program deployment, but not as we know it

CANADARM from Astro Pi Izzy’s view of Earth
CANADARM from Astro Pi Izzy’s view of Earth

This year, we encountered a problem during the deployment of some Life on Earth experiments. When we downloaded the first batch of data from the ISS, we realised that Astro Pi Izzy had an incorrect setting, which resulted in some pictures turning pink! Furthermore, the CANADARM was in the middle of the window view. 

Needless to say, this would have had a negative impact on many experiments, so we put in a special request to NASA to remove the CANADARM arm and we reset Izzy. This meant that the process took longer than normal, but we managed to re-run all experiments and capture some fantastic images!

Celebrating your achievements

Every team that participated in Mission Zero or Mission Space Lab this year will receive a special certificate of recognition for each teams' achievements during the challenge. The Mission Zero certificates will feature the coordinates of the ISS during the time your programs were run! 

We’d love to see pictures of these hanging in your homes, schools or clubs! The programs received this year were outstanding in quality, creativity, and technical skill. 

Who will win Mission Space Lab 2019/2020?

A jury of experts appointed by ESA and the Raspberry Pi Foundation will judge all of the reports, then select the 10 best reports; these teams will become the winners of the European Astro Pi Challenge 2019/20. Each of the 10 winning teams will receive a special prize.

Finally, congratulations to all the teams that have taken part in Astro Pi Mission Space Lab this year. We hope that you found it as interesting and as fun as we did. We can’t wait to read your reports!