CircuitPython in space … Pythonaut! @circuitpython @adafruit @maholli404 @zacinaction @SmallSat #KickSat

Blinka In Space-1

We posted about the 50+ micro satellites loaded with CircuitPython for a hackathon that Max tweeted about on Twitter. It’s part of the KickSat Sprite, 2019, running Circuitpython – GitHub.

We contacted Max to find out a bit more about this project, here are some the details – it’s out of this world!

“I’m a materials science PhD student at Stanford working to make space more accessible. Did you know 65% of small satellite missions are unsuccessful? This directly hinders the amount of science being conducted– imagine if the first step to conducting a chemistry experiment required designing and building the fume hood or hotplate! That would be silly!

Small satellites have steep hardware and software learning curves. I’ll be speaking at SmallSat 2019 about Prof. Zac Manchester and I’s low cost, open source, radiation-tolerant hardware designs implemented on KickSat-2, currently in orbit. Now I’m addressing the software side of things with CircuitPython.

Python In Space

KickSat-2 deployment of “sprites.”

CircuitPython provides an approachable and logical means of conducting science with hardware. Paired with low-cost hardware shown to work in space, we can enable an new generation to question and explore the unknown. With the necessary “satellite stuff” already baked in, students can spend their time trying something new rather than reinventing the wheel (similar philosophy to early Arduino efforts and the microcontroller movement in general).


Empowered from the helpful discord community, I started off with CP with makerspace workshops like the snowflake.


Then my “SAM32” dev board, that’s potentially being integrated into the Stanford EE curriculum this fall. And now the workshop in New Zealand with the Breakthrough Initiatives folks.



This is all possible because of ADAFRUIT and the hard work/money you’ve invested in open source. THANK YOU. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do on my end to help the cause. I’d love to collaborate!”

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