Astro Pi: Mission Update 3

Here at Pi Towers, Astro Pi fever is taking hold! Over the last few weeks there have been a number of things happening which we’re really excited about, so it’s time for an update.

astro pi

The first and most crucial bit of news for those of you furiously writing your competition entries is that you now have just a little more time. UK Space, the organisation managing the competition, have decided to give secondary students a whole extra week. As we were a week late in shipping the kits to our phase 1 winners the deadline is now Monday the 6th of July, by 10am, so get cracking!

Put this date in your diary, don’t forget.

To help you get to grips with programming the Astro Pi HAT we’ve created a couple of helpful resources.

Firstly, you can find out all about the hardware, its capabilities and get a detailed breakdown of the Python library using our Astro Pi Guide. It explains in detail all aspects of the library and provides some examples of how to use them.

However, if you just want to have a play and learn as you go, check out our Getting Started with Astro Pi resource which works through a series of examples and explores most of the the Python library.

You will create a series of interesting programs which make use of all of the Astro Pi sensors like this reaction game.

There’s a great interactive demo for exploring the IMU (movement) sensor and you can also experiment with pressure, following Dave’s example:

Astro Pi HATs are also starting to appear in the wild — loads of competition entrants have been receiving their Astro Pi HATs and excitedly tweeting about it.

Others within our community have been playing around creating examples and resources. The awesome Martin O’Hanlon has put together a getting started tutorial as well as building this amazing interactive Astro Pi in Minecraft:

Dan Aldred, one of our Raspberry Pi Certified Educators, has put together some great resources for using Astro Pi with his students. Visit his website to find a great language reference booklet.

We also have a number of examples compiled by Ben Nuttall and available on Github.

If you’re looking for more technical help with Astro Pi check out our Astro Pi forum.

As you can see we’re all super excited about the Astro Pi Launch! You can keep an eye on our progress as we get closer to lift-off by following social media channels. In the next few weeks the flight hardware is going to be assembled and tested!





Yay we have extra time to code.


SPACE the final frontier
To Boldly Go Where No PI Has Gone Before… :)


How do I buy a AstroPi Hat ? When will be released ?
I live outside of the UK.



I would say at the end of the competition but then again they may only be for people taking part in the competition. But the expected price if they do go on sale is £30 (without the postage cost)! I will keep out on the look out and reply to this message if I find anything. The places for you to look are on the astro pi and raspberry pi website.

Good luck,

Luke Castle


Thanks Luke Castle.


Thrilled to receive a kit each for the 2 winners from my school. Unfortunately we went on holiday before I had time to present them to my students. I have been a little cheeky though and sneaked one of their HATS home for ‘familiarisation’ purposes. After all they are not studying Comp Sci, have never done any coding and I will need to give them a few hours intro to the Pi, before we get onto using the HAT.

The Python library seems really well thought out, the worksheets are very clear and the demo code helps a lot. Thanks to all at Pi Towers and beyond for coming up with this ☺

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