In 2015, The Raspberry Pi Foundation built two space-hardened Raspberry Pi units, or Astro Pis, to run student code on board the International Space Station (ISS).
Each school year we run an Astro Pi challenge to find the next generation of space scientists to program them. After the students have their code run in space, any output files are downloaded to ground and returned to them for analysis.
That download process was originally accomplished by an astronaut shutting down the Astro Pi, moving its micro SD card to a crew laptop and copying over the files manually. This used about 20 minutes of precious crew time.
We have several crew activities planned for when this payload arrives on the ISS. These include the installation of the upgrade items on both Astro Pi units; moving one of the units from Columbus to an earth-facing window (possibly in Node 2); and then moving it back a few weeks later.
Currently it is expected that these activities will be carried out by German ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst who launches to the ISS in November (and will also be the ISS commander for Expedition 57).
Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.