Cambridge’s world-famous Raspberry Pi has hit new heights – by being blasted into space.
On December 6th an Antares Cygnus rocket carried 2 Pi’s to the International Space Station. Tim Peakes, the first British ESA astronaut, will use the Raspberry Pi for educational outreach.
Tim Peakes arrives at the Internation Space Station December 15 at 17:24 GMT.
Your code in space!
Astro Pi Mission
Two augmented Raspberry Pi computers (called Astro Pis) are being flown to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of British ESA Astronaut Tim Peake’s mission. They are both equipped with the mighty Sense HAT that can measure the environment inside the station, detect how it’s moving through space, and pick up the Earth’s magnetic field. Each Astro Pi is also equipped with a different kind of camera; one has an infra-red camera and the other has a standard visible spectrum camera.
Since 2012, millions of people have used a Raspberry Pi to gain their first experience of programming. Even in our affluent society, the cost of computer hardware is still a factor in everyone’s project. A programmable computer is a luxury for many people, and every extra dollar decreases the chance that a project may be financially viable.
This is all about to change: the Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced the Raspberry Pi Zero, a full-fledged member of the Raspberry Pi family that costs only $5 (US), breaking the cost barrier in a spectacular manner. Raspberry Pi Zero features:
- A Broadcom BCM2835 application processor
- 1GHz ARM11 core (40% faster than Raspberry Pi 1)
- 512MB of LPDDR2 SDRAM
- A micro-SD card slot
- A mini-HDMI socket for 1080p60 video output
- Micro-USB sockets for data and power
- An unpopulated 40-pin GPIO header
- Identical pinout to Model A+/B+/2B
- An unpopulated composite video header
- The smallest Pi form factor: 65mm x 30mm x 5mm
Images of the new Pi can be viewed online.
Even more spectacular: the Raspberry Pi Foundation is giving away a free Raspberry Pi Zero with each copy of the December issue of The MagPi, its flagship magazine. Subscribers will find a free Pi Zero on the front cover of their print magazine, which also can be downloaded and read free at https://www.raspberrypi.org/magpi/
Unfortunately, downloaded copies will not feature a free Pi Zero on each front cover. Technological limitations do not yet allow the transfer of physical computers. Maybe one day?