ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst announces the selection of Mission Space Lab codes for the ISS!

European Astro Pi Challenge: Mission Space Lab codes selected for the ISS!

20 February 2018

ESA Education, in collaboration with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, is delighted to announce that 116 student codes will be sent to the International Space Station for Mission Space Lab of the Astro Pi Challenge!

More than 200 entries were submitted by the teams that had been admitted to Phase 2 of Mission Space Lab in December last year. Due to an overwhelmingly high quality of scientific proposals and codes, the selection process was very difficult. However, our astronaut and ISS colleagues have given Astro Pi Ed and Izzy more time to run codes, as the ISS operations allowed it and because they enjoyed seeing the Mission Zero codes running so much. Therefore, we were able to select 116 codes to run, from 18 ESA Member and Associate States, more than initially planned!

For the first time this year teams will have the opportunity to observe Earth!

Fifty-one of the codes will be sent to Astro Pi Ed and will investigate life in space from inside the Columbus module, whilst 63 codes will be sent to Astro Pi Izzy. Astro Pi Izzy will help the students investigate life on Earth through the use of her near-infrared camera.

The range of scientific ideas and creativity from the competing student teams was very impressive. Over the coming months the Astro Pis will be used to detect the presence of astronauts on-board the ISS, investigate vegetation on Earth and attempt to map its magnetic field, and many other interesting investigations!

Once the codes have run, the student teams will receive the data that their code collected. With this data, the students will have the chance to write a final report about their investigation and submit it to the ESA Education team for the chance to win a special prize.

The ESA Education team would like to congratulate all student teams that participated in Phase 2 of Mission Space Lab. We are already looking forward to Phase 3 and seeing the results of the amazing scientific investigations!

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