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ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano with Ed and Izzy

European Astro Pi Challenge 2019-20 now open

12/09/2019 9630 views 35 likes
ESA / Education / AstroPI

ESA Education and the Raspberry Pi Foundation are happy to announce the launch of the 2019-20 European Astro Pi Challenge!

The European Astro Pi Challenge is a school project run by ESA in collaboration with the Raspberry Pi Foundation and gives young people the opportunity to write code that runs on Raspberry Pi computers on board the International Space Station.

We are delighted by the success of the programme and very proud of the young people that get to take part in this programme and have the code they write run in space!

This year’s ambassador of the European Astro Pi Challenge is ESA Astronaut Luca Parmitano. Luca has a few words to share about this year’s challenge:

The European AstroPi Challenge is divided into Mission Zero and Mission Space Lab.

Mission Zero offers teams of 2-4 participants up to 14 years old the chance to have their code run on the ISS. Teams write a simple program to display a message and the temperature readings on the Astro Pi computer, available for the astronauts to see as they go about their daily tasks. No special hardware or prior coding skills are needed and all entries that follow challenge rules are guaranteed to have their program run in space! Have a look at our Astro Pi Mission Zero guidelines for everything you need to know to take part in the challenge, including which countries are eligible to take part. Visit the Astro Pi Mission Zero page to register and get started. 

The deadline for submissions is 20 March 2020.

Mission Space Lab is recommended for teams of 2-6 students aged 11-19 years and offers participants the chance to have their scientific experiments run on the ISS. The challenge is to design and program an experiment to be run on an Astro Pi computer. The best experiments will be deployed to the ISS, and teams will have the opportunity to analyse their data and report on the results. The ten teams that author the best reports will be selected as the Astro Pi Mission Space Lab winners!

There are four phases to Mission Space Lab:

■    Phase 1 - Design (12 September – 25 October 2019)
- Come up with an idea for your experiment

■    Phase 2 - Create (November 2019 – 14 February 2020)
- Code your program and test your experiment on Earth

■    Phase 3 - Deploy (March - April 2020)
- Your program is deployed on the ISS

■    Phase 4 – Analyse (6-27 May 2020)
- Use the data from your experiment to write your report

Phase 1 of Mission Space Lab is now open. At this stage, teams need to come up with an idea for an experiment. No coding is required yet, but teams should think about how they might write the program to make sure the goal is achievable. Register your team and your idea on the Astro Pi Mission Space Lab page.  Check out this ‘Phase 1’ video to help you get started.

You can choose between two themes for your experiment: Life in Space and Life on Earth. ‘Life on Earth’ will run on the Astro Pi computer Izzy, fitted with a near-infrared camera facing out of an ISS window, to study Earth. ‘Life in Space’ will use the Astro Pi computer Ed, which is equipped with a camera for light sensing, to investigate life inside the Columbus module of the ISS.

Have a look at our Astro Pi Mission Space Lab guidelines for everything you need to know to take part in the challenge, including which countries are eligible to take part. Deadline to register and submit your idea via the Astro Pi website is 25 October 2019. The European Astro Pi Challenge is open to students residing in ESA Member States*, Canada, Slovenia and Malta.

*ESA Member States in 2019: 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.

N.B: 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).

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