In order to design and create your own space missions you’ll be using the Create for Space kit, in the kit is the SAGAN satellite board. The SAGAN is a very sophisticated piece of satellite technology that you will be using to design your own experiments. The SAGAN has a variety of different sensors such as cameras, temperature sensors and even sensors that can measure the Earth’s magnetic field.

By the end of your mission you’ll be able to control all of these sensors through software that you've built! You’ll be able to collect real scientific data from space and the Earth.



SAGAN developer board

The SAGAN board is a powerful piece of satellite hardware that has been designed to meet NASA standards. You’ll be using it to create your own experiments that utilise the sensors on the SAGAN. The SAGAN uses the Raspberry Pi A+ to control all of the sensors and electronics you’ll be using.

MicroSD Card

You’ll want to make sure that the MicroSD card that’s provided in the Create for Space kit is plugged into the Raspberry Pi. The MicroSD card that we’ve given you has the entire Raspbian Jesse operating system pre-installed on it.


You’ll use your USB hub to connect all of the other peripheral devices that you will be using to program the SAGAN to the Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi only has one USB port but we’ll need more than that to do science!

Power supply

You need a USB power supply that plugs into the Raspberry Pi in order to power the SAGAN board. This can be any modern phone-charging power supply, or even the USB port on your computer. We’ve provided a micro-USB cable, so just connect it up to the power supply (i.e. your laptop or computer) and you will be good to go.


You’ll need to connect a USB mouse to the USB hub in order to control the Raspberry Pi.


You’ll also need to connect a USB keyboard to the USB hub in order to control the Raspberry Pi.

Computer screens

You need to have one HDMI capable monitor along with a HDMI cable in order to connect your SAGAN to a computer or TV screen. We’ve provided one HDMI cable in the box so make sure you’ve got it ready!


You might want to have another computer nearby in order to help you write code and to transfer it directly to the SAGAN, as well as having the guides open.





Step 1

Unpackage your Raspberry Pi and place it on the four stilts that are on top of the SAGAN. Be sure to place it upside down, just like in the picture below. 


Step 2

Carefully screw the Raspberry Pi into the stilts on all four sides.


Step 3

Plug the included USB hub into the Raspberry Pi USB port.


Step 4

Plug the Create For Space USB flash drive into the USB hub.


Step 5

You need to connect a computer screen to the SAGAN. Your computer screen connects via the HDMI port on the Raspberry Pi. A HDMI cord is included in your kit.


Step 7

Plug in a keyboard to the USB hub. The picture below shows a wired keyboard but you can also use a wireless keyboard.


Step 8

Insert the micro SD card into it's slot on the Raspberry Pi. The SD card is included in the kit along with a larger adapter.



Just power it all up and let it load. You'll see walls of white text scrolling on a black screen until finally it loads the home screen.


You have just set up everything you’re going to need to get through this mission training! Now it’s time to test that everything works.

Testing is a large part of any engineering or scientific project, whether it be a new car, a water cleaning unit or a satellite.

In the folder on the desktop you'll find a Python file called "MyFirstDemo.py". Open it up in Python 2 and run the file in order to gather four individual data sets.

The ".py" file is actually Python code that is designed to test all of the sensors on your SAGAN board. This process will ensure that all of the sensors on your board are working correctly.

Sensors on the SAGAN include:

1. LED

2. Thermometer

3. Barometer

4. Ambient Light

5. UV light

6. IR light

7. Camera

8. Accelerometer

9. Gyroscope

10. Magnetometer

11. Real Time clock

Are all your sensors working? If not, check to see if anyone else has come up with the solution. If none of your solutions work, give us call!