Astro Pi 2.0 (UKSA, CNES, DLR, ASI, ESA)
  1. 2015 • ISS Increments 45-46
  2. 2015 • ISS "Principia" - long-duration mission
  3. 2016 • ISS Increments 47-48
  4. 2016 • ISS Increments 49-50
  5. 2016 • ISS "Proxima" - long-duration mission
  6. 2017 • ISS Increments 51-52
  7. 2017 • ISS "Vita" - long-duration mission
  8. 2017 • ISS Increments 53-54
  9. 2018 • ISS "Horizons" - long-duration mission
  10. 2018 • ISS Increments 55-56
  11. 2018 • ISS Increments 57-58
  12. 2019 • ISS "Beyond" - long-duration mission
  13. 2019 • ISS Increments 59-60
  14. 2019 • ISS Increments 61-62
  15. 2020 • ISS Increment 63
  16. 2020 • ISS Increment 64
Life Sciences:
  • Education
C. Edery-Guirado (1), S. Fredon (1), S. Rouquette (2), D. Honess (3), O. Brown (3), S. Zdybski (4), A. Bartolini (4), N. Savage (4), L. Jackson (5), J. Curtis (5)
18 avenue Edouard Belin
31401 Toulouse
Raspberry Pi Foundation
30 Station Rd
Cambridgeshire CB1 2RE
Keplerlaan 1
2201 AZ Noordwijk ZH
UK Space Agency
Polaris House
North Star Way
The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a British charity whose mission is to promote the uptake of computer programming skills in young people and adults. The foundation has developed a powerful, low cost, computer called Raspberry Pi (Figure 1) as a platform upon which to do this.

Following the Principia mission of ESA astronaut Tim Peake (Increment 45/46), two AstroPi computers remained on-board the ISS as result of the ‘’EPO Peake Astro Pi’’ activity. The AstroPi computers are Raspberry Pi computers combined with peripheral sensors (senseHAT), all enclosed in a protective aluminum flight case. (Figure 1).

After the Astro Pi UK challenge during the "Principia" - long-duration mission (ISS Increment 45-46 and ISS Increment 47-48), ESA decided to extend the project to the whole of Europe, taking advantage of the Astro Pi computers already in orbit. So in 2016-2017, ESA and the Raspberry Pi Foundation joined forces and launched the first European Astro Pi Challenge! This war repeated and extended in 2017-2018 and 2019-2020. 

1st ESA AstroPi Challenge 2016-2017
In the first run of the European challenge, which had French ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet as its ambassador during his Proxima mission to the ISS in 2016 to 2017 (ISS Increment 49-50 and ISS Increment 51-52), student teams were asked to devise a science experiment to be performed using the ISS’s Astro Pis. To take part, students had to write and test computer programs in Python (or Scratch, only for French teams), and these were uploaded to and run on the Astro Pi computers without need of astronauts’ help.

2nd ESA AstroPi Challenge 2017-2018
In the European Astro Pi Challenge’s second run (2017–2018), a second complexity level for younger teams was included. In addition to the established challenge to code an experiment, which is now called Mission Space Lab, students and young people can also take part in Mission Zero. In this simpler, non-competitive activity, participants write a program to display the ISS temperature reading and a message to ISS astronauts for 30 seconds. In the 2017-2018 run of the challenge, ESA astronauts Paolo Nespoli and Alexander Gerst served as ambassadors.

3rd ESA AstroPi Challenge 2019-2020
In September 2019, ESA Education and the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced the launch of the 2019-20 European Astro Pi Challenge.
Luca Parmitano is the European Astro Pi challenge ambassador for the ESA AstroPi Challenge 2019-2020. On 12 September he gave the ´Go ahead!´ to the challenge with a video outlining the details and calling for submissions. Both competitions "Mission ZERO" and "Mission Space Lab" were conducted. Teams had to come up with an experiment that fit one of the following two themes: 
For ´Theme A - Life in space´ the teams had to use the Astro Pi computer called Ed to investigate life inside the Columbus module of the ISS.
For ´Theme B - Life on Earth´ teams had to investigate ‘Life on Earth’ will use the Astro Pi computer called Izzy, including its sensors and its near-infrared camera facing out of an ISS window towards Earth, to investigate life on the planet’s surface.
Mission Space Lab consisted of four phases:
Phase 1: Design - Come up with an idea for an experiment.
Phase 2: Create - Write the program for your experiment and test it on Earth.
Phase 3: Deploy - Your program is deployed on the ISS.
Phase 4: Analyse - Use the data from your experiment to prepare your report.

Mission ZERO
Mission ZERO offers 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 temperature reading on an Astro Pi computer, for the astronauts to see as they go about their daily tasks on the ISS. No special hardware or prior coding skills are needed, and all teams that follow the challenge rules are guaranteed to have their programs run in space!

Mission Space Lab
Mission Space Lab 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 and report on the results. The teams that write the best reports will be selected as the Astro Pi Mission Space Lab winners!

In the interest of increasing science and engineering skills in European students, an education program utilising the on-board hardware has been developed for the Proxima mission of ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet.

The proposed plan is to issue a competition to schools with a number of thematic software/hardware challenges covering some of the diverse needs of the space industry – e.g. survival in the space environment, measurement and calibration, hardware re-configurability, image processing etc. At the core of each of these thematic challenges is the AstroPi / Raspberry Pi computer and associated peripherals which will act as the platform for on-orbit execution of the software.

It is the idea that the use of the Astro Pi computer in this activity will cast a tremendously wide net over the European and French - in particular - educational community. The EPO Pesquet AstroPi 2.0 activities will provide opportunities for students to engage with coding activities in the context of space.

The activities related to this project are intended to encourage and strengthen the teaching of computing and coding curriculums, and through this stimulate the curiosity of students and motivate them towards further study of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects.
Two AstroPi computers were kept on board ISS post-Tim Peake mission (Inc 46/47).

To run the program, one (or both) AstroPi computers are to be deployed on the ISS in a location suitable for the needs of the code. The protective cases include a piece of seat track, to allow the unit to be mounted and positioned using a Multi-use bracket. During Inc. 46/47 the AstroPi was deployed in Columbus and Node 2.

The AstroPi units can be powered in one of two ways:
- via a Griffin power adapter connected to an ISS AC power inverter;
- via USB port on an ISS crew laptop.

The units are operated in a ‘headless’ mode. Headless means without a keyboard, monitor or mouse connected. They are configured to boot and automatically begin processing without crew interaction. Additionally, the units can be accessed remotely from another computer via the use of an Ethernet cable and a web browser.

Towards the end of the Principia mission additional feature has been added to the AstroPi Vis (equipped with visible camera): it can be connected to the Joint Station LAN (JSL) network via an Ethernet cable and operated from designated USOC as long as the Pi remains powered.

The plan is to enable the same JSL connectivity for the AstroPi IR (equipped with infra-red camera).

The programs to be executed on the ISS in the scope of ‘’AstroPi 2.0’’ will be up-linked and executed from Biotesc via JSL.

Previous ways of program execution i.e. up-link of programs to an ISS laptop via the standard ISS file up-link, copy to one of the available SD cards and transfer of SD card from ISS laptop to an AstroPi by a crew member is still possible in case JSL connection fails or is unavailable.

Depending on the up-linked programs, the processing of the AstroPi units might produce some output files through interactive sessions, or autonomous data collection, which may need to be down-linked for analysis.

In such cases, these result files will be transferred to Biotesc via JSL in accordance to established procedures (for example for imagery checks).

SCHEDULE of the school competition
The timeline of EPO Pesquet AstroPi 2.0 is planned as follows:
a) prototype of HW to be distributed to schools across Europe validated by ESA – beginning September 2016
b) Definition of a thematic coding challenge for students – mid-September 2016
c) Distribution of AstroPi hardware to schools, teaching resources available online – NLT mid-October 2016
d) Start of the competition, teacher training conducted – mid-October 2016
e) Deadlines for students to submit their code to Raspberry Pi – end February 2017
f) Selection of winning entries and submission of winning code to Biotesc - mid-March 2017
g) Upload of code to ISS – as soon as possible after submission of code to Biotesc. Assuming 4-6 weeks of the approval cycle before uplink: mid/end-April 2017
h) On orbit video where ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet announces the winning schools – as soon as possible after the approval cycle of winning code by the Software Control Board.
i) Execution of code on ISS – as soon as possible after code uplink: mid/end April 2017
j) Downlink of results and distribution to schools – as soon as possible after code execution
k) Ground analysis of on-orbit results by pupils at schools – as soon as possible after downlink of results and distribution to schools.
Student participation in the project will start in October 2016. Students will have time until end of February 2017 to develop their code to address the challenge

Winning entries will be submitted to Biotesc for uplink to the ISS via JSL. After code execution, the on-orbit results (if any) will be downlinked to Biotesc via JSL and then distributed to schools for ground analysis.

link to project website:

Because of the success of the Astro Pi UK challenge during the "Principia" - long-duration mission (ISS Increment 45-46 and ISS Increment 47-48), ESA decided to extend the project to the whole of Europe, taking advantage of the Astro Pi computers already in orbit. So in 2016-2017, ESA and the Raspberry Pi Foundation joined forces and launched the first European Astro Pi Challenge! This war repeated and extended in scope in 2017-2018 and 2019-2020. 

RESULTS from the 2nd ESA AstroPi Challenge 2017-2018
The 2017/2018 Astro Pi Challenge saw a huge increase in participation, largely owing to the introduction of Mission Zero. The combined reach of both Challenges totalled over 6800 young people across 25 different countries. The most well-represented country in both challenges was the United Kingdom, this reflected the UKSA origins of the programme and the extensive reach that the Raspberry Pi Foundation has into schools and clubs in the UK, and the availability of the majority of the programme information in English. We hope to increase participation in non-English speaking European countries in 2018/2019 programme through the introduction of Mission Zero resources translated into all 18 official ESA languages and through more effectively mobilising ESERO partners across ESA member states.

Taken together, the overall female participation in the 2017/2018 Astro Pi Challenge was 38.3%. The level of female participation in Mission Zero was 41.2%, which is a much higher level of girls engagement than is typically seen with computing / STEM competitions. Mission Space Lab had 27.2% female team members. We intend to conduct further analysis to understand why and to identify opportunities to increase representation by girls in Mission Space Lab.

This year’s challenge saw the addition of a fourth phase into Mission Space Lab - the writing of formal scientific reports. With any additional stages in a competition of this sort, there is a risk of attrition. We were very pleased to receive a total 98 reports in Phase Four, from a total of 114 teams eligible to submit. Across the entire challenge, approximately 83.5% of participants deemed eligible to take part, went on to submit an entry. This shows that the decrease in participation across phases, from 330 initial entries to 98 final reports, is mainly a result of elimination through the judging process. We hope to reduce the number of eliminations next year, by introducing a more comprehensive support resource to help teams avoid common coding errors.

Mission Zero has proven very successful in making the Astro Pi Challenge more accessible to a younger audience, with 38% of participants entering from Primary Schools compared to just 12% of those entering Mission Space Lab. 76% of Mission Space Lab participants were aged between 14 and 19 years, which is a positive sign for this often difficult to reach age group.

RESULTS - Short Term Experiment
https://github.com/astro-pi/SweatyAstronautCode/tree/master/iss downloads
https://github.com/astro-pi/SpaceCRAFT/tree/master/iss downloads
https://github.com/astro-pi/watchdog/tree/master/iss downloads
https://github.com/astro-pi/enviro-pi/tree/master/iss downloads
https://github.com/astro-pi/reaction-games/tree/master/iss downloads
https://github.com/astro-pi/radiation/tree/master/iss downloads

RESULTS - Long Term Experiment
"Astro Pi project website", https://astro-pi.org/about/.
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Figure 1: Raspberry Pi Model B+ and adjacent flight hardware including protective case.

Figure 2: AstroPi on board the ISS.

Figure 3: Info Graphic: What is an AstroPi? The two Astro Pi computers on board the International Space Station are used by student teams participating in the European Astro Pi Challenge as a tool to run science experiments in space. credit: ESA

Figure 4: ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano with Ed and Izzy. Luca Parmitano is the ambassador of the 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.Copyright: ESA/NASA
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