Leading UK space organisations have joined forces with British European Space Agency (ESA) Astronaut Tim Peake and Raspberry Pi to offer Primary and Secondary school children a chance to devise and code their own apps or experiment to run in space.
Two Raspberry Pi computers are planned to be flown to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of Tim's 6 month mission and both will be connected to a new "Astro Pi" board, loaded with a host of sensors and gadgets.
The UK Space Agency launched the Astro Pi competition on 21-25 January and have now annouced deadlines for entry.
Astro Pi key dates:
3rd April - Primary School age competition closes
3rd April - Secondary school concept submission
29th June - Final deadline for secondary school full entries
There are 5 inspirational themes under which children can enter and these are;
1. Spacecraft Sensors
2. Satellite Imaging
3. Space Measurements
4. Data Fusion
5. Space Radiation.Primary School Category
Students will be asked to devise and describe an original idea for an experiment or application which can be conducted on the Astro Pi by Tim during his mission.
The two best submissions will get the opportunity to work with the Astro Pi team to interpret their ideas and the team at the Raspberry Pi Foundation will then code them ready for flight on the ISS.Secondary School Category
The competition will be run across three age categories, one for each of Key Stages 3, 4 and 5 (in England and Wales, and their equivalent ages in Scotland and Northern Ireland).
In the first phase, competitors can submit their ideas for experiments and applications. At least the best 50 submissions in each age category will win a Raspberry Pi computer and an Astro Pi board on which to code their idea.
In phase 2, all teams will develop code based on their original concept and two winning teams will be selected in each age category. The winning teams' code will be readied for flight by the Raspberry Pi Foundation and CGI.
As well as having their code uploaded to the ISS, all winning teams will each receive a class set of Raspberry Pi and Astro Pi boards, meet the Astro Pi team and participate in a winners event during Tim's flight.
BCPD Trust Chairman commented "This is a great opportunity for school children to get involved in scientific experiments. With computers at the forefront of Technology this competition will inspire budding engineers and programmers to be creative and write programming codes that can be used by Astronauts and Engineers to understand space and our universe. BCPD Trust will be encouraging all of our young entrepreneurs and sports club members to take part in this competition." What is Astro Pi?
The Astro Pi package includes two electronic boards that allow all the sensors to be added on top of the standard Raspberry Pi computer board which enables students to run their codes.
The Astro Pi board will be a Raspberry Pi HAT and will comprise the following:
1. Gyroscope, accelerometer and magnetometer sensor
2. Temperature sensor
3. Barometric pressure sensor
4. Humidity sensor
5. Real time clock with backup battery
6. 8×8 RGB LED display
7. Several push buttonsAbout Tim Peake
Major Tim Peake is a British Astronaut working for the European Space Agency and is scheduled to go to space in November 2015. Born in Chichester, England, on 7 April 1972, Tim is married with two sons.
Tim was awarded the Commander-in-Chief's Certificate for Meritorious Service for exemplary and dedicated service to the British Army in 2006.Find out more about the competition by visiting Astro Pi Competition