Mission Zero is back!
Mission Zero officially launches today as part of the European Astro Pi Challenge 2018-2019, an ESA Education programme run in collaboration with the Raspberry Pi Foundation. It offers teams of students and young people the chance to have their computer programs run in space on the International Space Station!
Teams will have until 20 March 2019 to write a simple program to display their personal message to the astronauts onboard. You don’t need any special equipment or prior coding skills, and all participants that follow the guidelines are guaranteed to have their programs run in space. This activity can be completed in a few hours with just a computer and an internet connection.
To help many more people take part in their native language this year, we have also translated the Mission Zero resource, guidelines, and website into 19 different languages! Head to our languages page to find Mission Zero in your language.
To take part, the teams’ teacher or mentor must first register for a classroom code that will let students submit their programs. Teams can then follow our online resource to write their program using the Trinket emulator in their web browser: with just a few lines of Python, teams will program one of the two Astro Pi computers aboard the ISS.
Each team’s program will run for 30 seconds and have the chance to be seen by the astronauts on board the Space Station, including this year’s challenge ambassadors: ESA astronaut and ISS Commander Alexander Gerst and CSA astronaut David Saint-Jacques.
Every team that submits a valid entry to the challenge will also receive a certificate showing the flight path of the ISS above Earth at the exact time their code ran!
The challenge is open to teams of students and young people who are aged 14 years or younger (at the time of submission) and from ESA Member or Associate Member States*. The teams must have at least 2 and no more than 4 members, and be supervised by a teacher or mentor.
Will you be taking part?
Have fun, and say hi to the astronauts from us!
About the European Astro Pi Challenge
The European Astro Pi Challenge is an ESA Education project run in collaboration with the Raspberry Pi Foundation. It offers students and young people the amazing opportunity to conduct scientific investigations in space, by writing computer programs that run on Raspberry Pi computers on board the International Space Station (ISS). The Astro Pi challenge is divided into two separate missions featuring different levels of complexity: Mission Zero (the basic mission), and Mission Space Lab (one step further). The deadline for Mission Space Lab applications has almost passed (1st November 2019) but click here for more information about it.
*ESA Member States in 2018:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.
ESA Associate States in 2018: Canada, Slovenia
In the framework of the current collaboration agreement between ESA and the Republic of Malta, teams from Malta can also participate in the European Astro Pi Challenge. ESA will also accept entries from primary or secondary schools located outside an ESA Member or Associate State, only if such schools are officially authorised and/or certified by the official Education authorities of an ESA Member or Associate State (for instance, French school outside Europe officially recognised by the French Ministry of Education or delegated authority).