How you, an adult, can take part in the European Astro Pi Challenge

So, yesterday we announced the launch of the 2019/2020 European Astro Pi Challenge, and adults across the globe groaned with jealousy as a result. It’s OK, we did too.

The Astro Pi Challenge is the coolest thing ever

The European Astro Pi Challenge is ridiculously cool. It’s definitely one of the most interesting, awesome, spectacular uses of a Raspberry Pi in the known universe. Two Raspberry Pis in stellar, space-grade aluminium cases are currently sat aboard the International Space Station, waiting for students in ESA Member States to write code to run on them to take part in the Astro Pi Challenge.

But what if, like us, you’re too old to take part in the challenge? How can you get that great sense of space wonderment when you’re no longer at school?

You’re never too old…even when you’re too old

If you’re too old to take part in the challenge, it means you’re old enough to be a team mentor. Team mentors are responsible for helping students navigate the Astro Pi Challenge, ensuring that everyone is where they’re meant to be, doing what they’re meant to be doing. You’ll also also the contact between the team and us, Raspberry Pi and ESA. You’re basically a team member.

You’re basically taking part.

Mission Zero requires no coding knowledge

Mission Zero requires very little of its participants:

  • They don’t need to have any prior knowledge of coding
  • They don’t need a Raspberry Pi

And while they need an adult to supervise them, said adult doesn’t need any coding experience either.

(Spoiler alert: you’re said adult.)

Instead, you just need an hour to sit down with your team at a computer and work through some directions. And the result? Your team’s completed code will run aboard the International Space Station, and they’ll get a certificate to prove it.

You really have no excuse

If you live in an ESA Member State and know anyone aged 14 years or younger, there is absolutely no reason for them not to take part in Astro Pi Mission Zero. And, since they’re probably not reading this blog post right now, it’s your responsibility to tell them about Astro Pi. This is how you take part in the European Astro Pi Challenge: you become the bearer of amazing news when you sit your favourite kids down and tell them they’re going to be writing code that will run on the International Space Station…IN SPACE!

To find out more about Mission Zero, click here. We want to see you pledging your support to your favourite non-adults, so make sure to tell us you’re going to be taking part by leaving a comment below.

There really is no excuse.



*ESA Member States: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Residents of Slovenia, Canada, or Malta can also take part.



I’m a native of India and I too want to take part in the Astro Pi challenge because “I, an adult, isn’t that old!!”

And some queries:
(1) does this have to be related to space? or we can present whatever we have in our mind?

(2) Since i’m a noob; excuse my lack of knowledge of these challenges or meets— i want to know how we are going to present our project; will this be hosted as an international event or this will be hosted virtually on this very website?

Waiting for a reply soon! :)


The teacher/mentor submits the finished program(s) through the Sense HAT
4 web emulator for Mission Zero. For each team’s entry, the teacher will receive
an email receipt with the team member details, along with a link to a snapshot of their code. The code cannot be changed once it has been submitted.
All programs that follow the challenge rules will automatically be granted flight status, and the teams that wrote them will have their code run in space!
In June, teachers and mentors will receive their teams’official Mission Zero
6 certificates by email.
The deadline to submit entries for the Astro Pi Mission Zero challenge is 20 March 2019. Late entries, and entries that have not been submitted through the Sense HAT web emulator for Mission Zero, will not be accep

Is it still possible???


I think you found some guidelines that had slipped through our round of updates for this year – thanks for the spot! They must have had last year’s deadline, but I can see that my colleagues have already corrected them, so yes, there’s still PLENTY of time.

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