Along with all the dangerous spacewalks and living with the dangers of orbiting the Earth in microgravity, astronauts on the International Space Station also have a ton of fun conducting various experiments in space to see what happens in the microgravitational environment.
One of the most recent involves a set of modified Raspberry Pi computers, which have been renamed ‘Astro Pi’ computers. They’re perfect for this experiment because the computers are cheap, at just $5 each, and they’re very capable.
They’re modified in that they have new technology (Sense HAT) attached to them, such as instruments like gyroscopes, accelerometers, magnetometers, thermometers, barometers, and other fun sensors that can be used to collect data.
What’s more is the computers were created and programmed by students throughout the United Kingdom, so it’s a bit of a cheery day for all of those who played a part in bringing the computers together to be used on the International Space Station.
When the computers have finished collecting data, the results will be sent back to Earth to the students who created the computers, which will allow them to have fulfilled an experiment of their own from the safety of Earth.
European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake has already fired on the computers this week, as he revealed on Twitter, and they’re already beginning to measure various types of data for the students, and they will continue to do so until Peake is scheduled to return to Earth.