New Astro Pi computers speeding their way into space

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Two brand name-new Astro Pis are getting introduced to the ISS this 7 days! With this ESA and the Raspberry Pi Basis are opening an exciting earth of new experiment and pleasurable opportunities for the contributors in the European Astro Pi problem.


These Astro Pis are an improve and substitution for the original Astro Pi hardware that flew to the ISS in 2015 for the mission of ESA astronaut Tim Peake. They are two Raspberry Pi 4B personal computers enclosed in a room-proof situation with a vary of new environmental sensors and a 12-megapixel digital camera for Earth Observation. Discover a lot more about this upcoming-era hardware here. 

Students in European educational institutions who are participating in the European Astro Pi Challenge can manage these computer systems utilizing the python programming language. They can publish and submit their python courses, have their experiments operate on board the ISS and get back again their science info for them to analyse on floor.

Enjoy the start reside tomorrow 21 December, at 11:06 a.m. CET here. 

Tests, screening, testing!

The genuine flight components: Astro Pi mark II IR

To bring the two new Astro Pi to the ISS, ESA and the Raspberry Pi Foundation had to get by a tricky security and certification process, which applies to just about anything that wants to fly to the ISS. This is a system referred to as the Basic safety Gate approach, which makes sure that payloads are safe and sound to run on the space station. There are three basic safety panels that the Astro Pis essential to get by means of, every single of which necessary distinctive exams these kinds of as:

  • A vibration take a look at to assure that the Astro Pi survives the rigours of the start. They can simulate the vibrations created by many launch autos.
  • A thermal exam to make confident no harm can maybe arrive to the astronaut crew. The touch temperature of the surface area of the flight models is confined to 45 levels C.
  • Each individual flight unit also ought to be manually inspected by a person donning a latex glove and carefully examine the scenario to check out for sharp edges.
  • Last but not least, the electromagnetic emissions and susceptibility tests that are demanded to promise that the flight units won’t interfere with any ISS techniques, and not be afflicted by other devices that is onboard.

What will take place now?

The actual flight components: Astro Pi mark II VIS

ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer will be there with his colleagues to witness the Astro Pis arrival in the ISS, which you can observe on Wednesday 22 December 8.30 am GMT, 9.30am CET in this article.

In the new calendar year, Matthias will be deploying our Astro Pi units in the Columbus module. New payloads endure a process known as “commissioning” which entails examine-out testing to confirm anything is performing appropriately. The commissioning for Astro Pi will also involve accumulating some photographs from an Earth-facing window, which will afterwards be employed as education knowledge for synthetic intelligence machine discovering tasks. Later on in the yr the new Astro Pi units will be utilized to operate the university student experiments from this year’s European Astro Pi Obstacle. 

You can however use to Mission Zero and compete to title the two Astro Pi computer systems!

Astro Pi Mission Zero crucial visual

There’s continue to time to choose portion in this year’s Obstacle! Mission Zero is open up to all younger men and women under the age of 19 in ESA Member and Associate states and provides you the opportunity to produce a information to the astronauts on board. In addition, this calendar year you have the probability to name the new Astro Pis immediately after an European Scientist! Discover additional about it below.

Observe our straightforward stage-by-stage instructions and, doing work with a guardian, trainer, or lawful tutor, if you’re qualified your code is certain to run on the ISS! You will even get a certification demonstrating the place the ISS, and the Astro Pi personal computers, have been when your code ran.

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