Calliope Earth Observation

Taking the Calliope mini to the International Space Station:

The CalliopEO campaign offers all students up to 7th grade the opportunity to let their ideas fly into space. In cooperation with the German Space Agency at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Ruhr University Bochum, the children can experience life on the ISS up close and even give the astronauts something to take with them on their voyage of discovery. 👾

The Space Hack:

How warm is it on the International Space Station?
Do the astronauts have light up there?
In which direction is the Calliope mini pointing right now?

The students can ask these questions and many more with their self-written programs for the Calliope mini and send them to us. All codes and space hack questions will then be played on the Calliope mini in space by the astronauts on the ISS. There are no limits to creativity when creating the programs. All that is needed for a successful participation is a computer and an editor of your choice. The deadline for submitting your programs is 21.12.2021.

Participate now!

To become a true space hack professional
you need to follow these 3 steps to the ISS.

1Get ready
Take your time and get to know the Calliope mini. Students can visit our Calliope mini Kids Labs, or teachers can exchange ideas in the online sessions and collect and develop ideas together.
The greatest stories begin with courage! Start your own first programming attempts. Learn about the special features of the Space Calliope mini and what the Calliope mini can do on the ISS on the CalliopEO basics page.
3Submit project
You are sure you have programmed a real Space Hack project? Then you can now send your finished programs to

From then on, fingers crossed!

Space check
Now it is a matter of eagerly waiting: the programs are checked and sifted by the ESA.
Your program on the ISS
The countdown is on... In spring 2022, your programs will be sent to the ISS.
We will let you know when your Space Hack program will be running on the ISS.

Ready, set, go!

WOW, now our Calliope mini could already gain first flight experiences and landed safely in Houston. Here, real space tests await him to check whether our Calliope mini in the spacesuit is ready to take off on his big mission. Once this hurdle has been overcome, the next stop is Kennedy Space Center Cape Canaveral in Florida.

Participate and win a space certificate!

Notes and templates for submitting your programs:

For starters
Send animations, greetings and digital confetti into space or greet the crew of the ISS. Use the LED display of the Calliope mini and send your own messages to the astronauts on the ISS. Be inspired.
For advanced users
Use the integrated sensors of the Calliope mini and have the values measured on the ISS sent to Earth. If you want to know how this works, you can find an example here.
For little pros
Would you like to use other external sensors? Here we have integrated a template with all sensor packages. This template is currently only available for the MakeCode Editor, because not all used sensors can be configured in the Open Roberta Lab yet.

In order to run your experiments on the ISS, we need the code file of your programs.

  1. if you use the MakeCode Editor, we need the .HEX file
  2. if you use the Open Roberta Lab, we need the .XML file, which you can export via export.
  3. Describe your idea in a few sentences. If you want to be creative, you can also sketch your idea.

All information about submitting your programs so that they can run on the ISS can be found in the conditions of participation.

Conditions of participation

Send your projects to

Your projects will be viewed and sent to the ISS.
You can find everything about the dates here.

Get ready for takeoff!

Teaching material

Here you will find three great lessons that you can use as an orientation and introduction to the Space Hack. Students can learn how plants live, how satellites see the Earth, or how to build a CO2 traffic light.

View now!

Programming basics

The Calliope mini flying to the ISS is very specially equipped and has the following input and output capabilities:
Output: LED Matrix
Input: Buttons A+B
Integrated Sensors: position, temperature, brightness, volume
External Sensors: CO2, temperature, humidity, color, sunlight
All important basics to get started with the Calliope mini can be found here.


Workshop offers

Working with the Calliope mini - short basic and introductory videos, advanced training, and additional online sessions for teachers will help you become a true Calliope mini pro.

online sessions

Calliope mini Kids Labs

The free Calliope mini Kids Lab is available in three different formats, so that coding fun is guaranteed for beginners, advanced users and small professional hackers.

Space Kids Lab

The experiments on the ISS

Are you wondering what astronauts are actually doing with the Calliope mini? How can our little microcontroller support the work on the ISS? We have listed a few experiments here that describe the investigations up there in faraway space in more detail. Perhaps this insight will also serve as inspiration for your own space hack program.

The color spectrum of the earth - Is our earth as colorful from above as shown in an atlas or on a globe?

Find out!

The UV light measurement - Do you need sunglasses on the International Space Station?

Find out!

The duration of an circumnavigation of the Earth - How long does it take for the ISS to fly past all the classrooms around the Earth once?

Find out!

Acceleration of the ISS: What is the acceleration of the ISS when it is brought to its desired position once a day?

Find out!

Movement of the ISS: Why is the ISS spinning? Are the astronauts and the Calliope mini upside down?

Find out!

Climate station on the ISS - What are the air conditions like on the International Space Station? Can the astronauts breathe as they do on Earth?

Find out!


Here you can find all important dates!

  • Application phase for the programs: 09-03-2021 – 12-21-2021
  • Online session for teachers: 10-20-2021 5:00pm - 6:00pm register
    Special: All information on project submission
  • Online session for teachers: 10-26-2021 4:00pm - 5:00pm register
    Topic: CalliopEO Space Hack
  • Science Days Digital for teachers and pedagogues: 11-02-2021 5:00pm - 6:00pm register
    More information in the science days program booklet.
  • Online session for teachers: 11-02-2021 5:00pm - 6:00pm register
    Topic: Sensors
  • Kids Lab for students: 11-05-2021 3:00pm - 5:00pm register
    Topic: Smart light
  • Online session for teachers: 11-11-2021 5:00pm - 6:00pm register
    Topic: Sensors
  • Online session for teachers: 12-02-2021 5:00pm - 6:00pm Registration possible from 10-20-2021
    Topic: CalliopEO Space Hack
  • Kids Lab for students: 12-03-2021 3:00pm - 5:00pm Registration possible from 10-20-2021.
    Topic: Plant station

Stay tuned!

I am interested in participating as a school project *


More great offers about space and programming!