Astro Pi: Mission Zero

is an opportunity for children to write a short program that will run on the Astro Pi units on the International Space Station. Every participant will receive a certificate with the time and date their code was executed. View the Learning Resource to get started.
Educators and other adult sponsors can register for free here.
  • Only use required and allowed modules. The sense_hat module must be used. The random and time module may be used as well.
  • Your program is a bit too long. Try making it a bit shorter.
  • Don't use input or wait for events. Your program shouldn't rely on input from a person.
  • Check your program for improper language.

To submit your program, you'll need to:

  • read the temperature from the sensor,
  • use the LED matrix,
  • and run your program without any errors.

Your program will run for 30 seconds on the International Space Station.

00:00
Classroom Code

Once your program is ready, enter your classroom code here to continue to the official submission form.

Looks like your program isn't ready yet. Check the list above.

How to Take Part

Who can take part in Mission Zero? Any group of two or more students under age 14 in a European Space Agency country can submit a program to be run in space, with the supervision of a teacher, parent, or adult code club volunteer. For more information, check out the ESA Participation Guidelines .

Follow these steps to get started:

1. Write your program

Your program should read the temperature and display information using the LEDs. Visit the Mission Zero Learning Resource for a full walkthrough including examples, animations, videos and more.

2. Enter Your Classroom Code

Your teacher or supervising adult will give you a short classroom code. Enter it in the provided space.
Educators, parents, and other supervising adults can register for a free classroom code here.

3. Submit

Once you've passed all the checks, click the button to go to the official submission form. Enter your group name and other information, which will be used to generate your certificate.

Once reviewed and accepted, your code will run for up to 30 seconds on one of the International Space Station's Raspberry Pi computers in December 2017 or January 2018! Your registered adult sponsor will receive official confirmation of this and a certificate from Raspberry Pi's Astro Pi program.

Need Instructions?

View Learning Resource  

Ready to go?

Get Coding!  

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find more detailed instructions?

The Mission Zero Learning Resource has been created to guide you through the activity. You may want to keep it open in a separate window or tab for easy reference.

What if my program goes over 30 seconds?

Each submission will have up to 30 seconds of runtime in space. After 30 seconds, the program will be automatically stopped. The timer will help you see how much of your program will run during this time. If your program uses a while loop or takes longer than 30 seconds to finish, use the Stop button to halt the execution of your program so that you can submit it.

I'm getting an error! What do I do?

First, don't panic! Errors are a normal part of programming: they just indicate that the computer is confused.

The emulator should highlight the line on which the error is occurring. Check for any missing punctuation like missing commas, brackets and colons. Failing that, simply typing the error message into a search engine will quickly find an answer.

How can I view my past submissions?

Registered teachers will receive an email confirmation from Raspberry Pi for each submission that uses their code. You will also be provided with a link to your trinket after submitting your work to Raspberry Pi. You can save, bookmark, or send this link to someone else to show off your entry!

What if I still have questions?

Astro Pi maintains a full FAQ with even more topics. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for there, then please send your question to enquiries@astro-pi.org

Ready to go?

Get Coding!  

Have More Questions?

Full FAQ