Two Raspberry Pi computers have been launched into space from Cape Canaveral in Florida on a Space X rocket.

The credit card -sized device headed to the International Space Station (ISS) to conduct experiments programmed by schoolchildren.

It is part of a project by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Cambridge -based Raspberry Pi Foundation (RPF).

Olympia Brown, of RPF, said the computer would be “with all the astronauts’ Christmas presents”.

The new machine will replace an older and less sophisticated model, called the Ed and Izzy, which was originally used as part of Tim Peake’s Principia mission in 2015.

Children and adolescents were asked to write simple computer code, using information from the ESA, to conduct experiments for the ISS computer.

The project, called Astro Pi, is targeted at primary school students and aims to encourage more young people to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.

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