Cosmic coding challenge for kids launches Raspberry Pi computers into space

Cosmic coding challenge for kids launches Raspberry Pi computers into space

PR Newswire

CAMBRIDGE, England, Dec. 21, 2021

CAMBRIDGE, England, Dec. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Two revolutionary Raspberry Pi computers will launch from Cape Canaveral today aboard SpaceX 24 to empower children and teens to run their own experiments on the International Space Station (ISS).

The European Astro Pi Challenge: Mission Zero from the Raspberry Pi Foundation and European Space Agency (ESA) inspires young people to discover and develop a love of coding and digital creativity with a truly 'out of this world' experience.

It guides them step-by-step to code a sensor check on board the ISS, and puts their creativity into action by designing a digital illustration and writing a personal message for the astronauts orbiting 408km above the Earth.

Young explorers don't need any previous experience of coding or specialised equipment, just a computer with an internet connection and their imagination. It is completely free to take part at astro-pi.org until 18 March 2022 and is suitable for children as young as six.

Philip Colligan, CEO, Raspberry Pi Foundation said: "The Astro Pi Challenge inspires children to discover coding, explore digital creativity and take part in an "out of this world" learning opportunity by coding an experiment on the International Space Station. We are putting the power of computing into children's hands with one of the coolest educational opportunities out there".

Every eligible participant from an ESA member or associate country who follows the simple guidance is guaranteed to have their experiment, message and image run on the ISS and will receive a certificate to mark when they have gone into orbit.

The new Raspberry Pi computers launching today replace older models – Ed and Izzy – that have been on the space station since 2015. Since then, 54,000 young people across Europe and Canada have taken part in the Astro Pi Challenge. Participants in this year's challenge will also have the opportunity to name the new computers.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a UK-based charity that works to put computing and digital making into the hands of young people around the world. It aims to empower young people to harness the power of community and digital technology to solve problems that matter to them and to express themselves creatively.

In addition to Mission Zero, the Astro Pi Challenge Mission Space Lab is aimed at teams of young people with some prior coding experience. Teams develop more detailed experiments in schools and coding clubs. Entries to this year's Mission Space Lab have already closed. A record 800 teams from 23 countries entered experiments including monitoring the health of forests, plant erosion, wildfires and climate change - 49% using machine learning. The most promising teams will be supported to progress their ideas, before the best experiments run on the ISS.

To find out more about the Astro Pi Challenge and take part in Mission Zero today, visit astro-pi.org

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