May 28, 2022


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New Astro Pi computers speeding their way into space



In transient

Two manufacturer-new Astro Pis are getting introduced to the ISS this week! With this ESA and the Raspberry Pi Foundation are opening an interesting environment of new experiment and fun options for the members in the European Astro Pi challenge.


These Astro Pis are an enhance and substitution for the unique Astro Pi hardware that flew to the ISS in 2015 for the mission of ESA astronaut Tim Peake. They are two Raspberry Pi 4B computer systems enclosed in a place-evidence situation with a selection of new environmental sensors and a 12-megapixel camera for Earth Observation. Study much more about this subsequent-generation hardware here. 

Pupils in European universities who are participating in the European Astro Pi Challenge can management these desktops working with the python programming language. They can compose and post their python programs, have their experiments run on board the ISS and get back again their science knowledge for them to analyse on ground.

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

Testing, tests, screening!

The actual flight hardware: Astro Pi mark II IR

To deliver the two new Astro Pi to the ISS, ESA and the Raspberry Pi Basis had to get via a tough safety and certification course of action, which applies to just about anything that requirements to fly to the ISS. This is a procedure named the Protection Gate system, which guarantees that payloads are secure to function on the room station. There are three security panels that the Astro Pis essential to get via, every single of which demanded different tests such as:

  • A vibration take a look at to guarantee that the Astro Pi survives the rigours of the launch. They can simulate the vibrations developed by different start automobiles.
  • A thermal examination to make confident no harm can quite possibly come to the astronaut crew. The contact temperature of the surface area of the flight models is constrained to 45 levels C.
  • Each individual flight device also must be manually inspected by someone donning a latex glove and carefully examine the case to check out for sharp edges.
  • Last but not least, the electromagnetic emissions and susceptibility checks that are demanded to guarantee that the flight models will not interfere with any ISS systems, and not be impacted by other equipment that is onboard.

What will happen now?

The actual flight hardware: 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 look at on Wednesday 22 December 8.30 am GMT, 9.30am CET below.

In the new yr, Matthias will be deploying our Astro Pi models in the Columbus module. New payloads undergo a system known as “commissioning” which entails test-out tests to validate anything is doing work appropriately. The commissioning for Astro Pi will also entail collecting some visuals from an Earth-dealing with window, which will afterwards be employed as education knowledge for artificial intelligence device studying tasks. Afterwards in the 12 months the new Astro Pi models will be utilised to operate the college student experiments from this year’s European Astro Pi Obstacle. 

You can still implement to Mission Zero and contend to title the two Astro Pi computer systems!

Astro Pi Mission Zero vital visual

There is nevertheless time to consider component in this year’s Challenge! Mission Zero is open to all younger folks beneath the age of 19 in ESA Member and Associate states and provides you the likelihood to write a concept 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 a lot more about it in this article.

Abide by our very simple step-by-stage directions and, doing work with a mother or father, instructor, or lawful tutor, if you are eligible your code is assured to operate on the ISS! You will even get a certification exhibiting the place the ISS, and the Astro Pi computers, were being when your code ran.