European astro pi challenge is back for 2018/19

Ever wanted to run your own experiment in space? Then you’re in luck! ESA Education, in collaboration with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, is pleased to announce the launch of the 2018/2019 European Astro Pi Challenge!

In this challenge, we offer students and young people the amazing opportunity to conduct scientific investigations in space by writing computer programs that run on Astro Pi’s - special Raspberry Pi computers aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst and CSA astronaut David Saint-Jacques are the Challenge’s ambassadors. They will accompany our Astro Pi’s on the ISS and oversee the entrants’ programs while these run and collect scientific data.

Two missions are part of the Astro Pi Challenge: Mission Zero and Mission Space Lab.

If you are 19 or younger and live in an ESA Member or Associate Member State, we invite you to form a team with at least one friend of yours and apply to the Astro Pi Challenge’s Mission Space Lab by sending us your experiment idea by the end of October. We can’t wait to see your ideas!

Mission Space Lab gives you the chance to have your scientific experiment run on the ISS. Your challenge is to design and code an experiment using the environmental sensors and cameras of the Astro Pi computers, called Ed and Izzy, aboard the ISS. 

You can choose between two themes for your experiment: Life in space and Life on Earth. If you pick ‘Life on Earth’ theme, you’ll use the Astro Pi computer Izzy, fitted with a near-infrared camera facing out of an ISS window, to study the Earth. For ‘Life in space’, you’ll 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. The best experiments will be deployed on the ISS, and you’ll have the opportunity to analyse your experimental data to write a report with your results. The ten teams who send us the best reports will become the Astro Pi Mission Space Lab 2018/2019 winners! 

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