PUPILS from Lydford Primary School learned to be space scientists as part of the European Space Agency’s Astro Pi: Mission Zero challenge. 

The pupils learned how to programme a Raspberry Pi computer to carry out a science task in space and they then sent their code up to the International Space Station, orbiting 400 km above Earth! 

Professor James Watts, CEO of South West space and telecommunications company Flann Microwave, who came into school to help with the challenge, said: ‘Coding underpins so much of what we take for granted in our everyday lives, from mobile phones to cars. Writing code to run on a computer in space is a privilege usually reserved for highly qualified scientists and engineers so this was a fantastic opportunity for the pupils to see their code sent to space. I hope that some of them will become the scientists and engineers of the future!’

Pupil Aaron said: ‘Doing the coding was really hard but I was incredibly proud of my work as I had to write a programme to change the colours for each message. I then sent it to space which is an amazing experience.’

The pupils’ programs will run on the International Space Station over the next few months, and they will receive a certificate from the European Space Agency to prove it!

For more details of the Astro Pi challenge, see http://astro-pi.org/missions/zero/

Picture by James Bird.