Space Center Houston turns out to be awesome
We’re at Space Center Houston this week and so far it has been awesome. Four entire astronauts have crossed our path. We’ve pressed every button we were allowed to. And we’ve taken some quite weird photos. We also stopped by Creatorspace Houston and talked about Raspberry Pi to a room packed with mostly aeronautical professionals.
It’s been excellent, and that’s before we get to the Space Exploration Educators Conference, which runs from Thursday to Saturday and provides educators with the latest teaching tools, interpreting what’s happening now in science and human space exploration. If you’ll be there, look out for us and say hi — we’re giving a presentation about the history of Raspberry Pi during the Thursday lunchtime session too.
We promise to share loads more photos along with the less highly classified insider secrets from our trip when it’s over. For now, though, we want to wish British ESA astronaut and friend of Raspberry Pi Tim Peake a belated happy retirement from active space duty, and remind you that there’s still plenty of time for the young people you know to take part in this year’s Astro Pi Challenge. It’s run by our parent charity the Raspberry Pi Foundation in partnership with the European Space Agency, and it lets kids write code that will run in actual space.
Join the Astro Pi Challenge 2022/23
One of the missions making up this year’s Astro Pi Challenge is Mission Zero, and it’s an excellent way for young people to write code that will run in space on an Astro Pi computer — a specially equipped Raspberry Pi — on board the International Space Station. It’s open to people of primary and secondary school age in ESA member states plus some other countries (check here). If you’ve got an hour or so to help some of the kids you know take part between now and the closing date for entries on 17 March, it’s well worth a look.
Tim Peake was the first astronaut to support the Astro Pi Challenge during his Principia mission (2015–2016) on the ISS. Since then, lots of astronauts have handled our hardware in space and helped run code written by tens of thousands of Earth students. As well as Tim Peake, ESA astronauts Thomas Pesquet, Paolo Nespoli, Alexander Gerst, Luca Parmitano, Matthias Maurer, and Samantha Cristoforetti, plus CSA astronaut David Saint-Jacques, have all acted as ambassadors for the challenge.
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About 65 miles NE of Huntsville lies Arnold Air Force Base /AEDC which has the world’s largest wind tunnels and aerospace test facility where many of the space vehicles, rockets, jets, and engines are tested.