South Yorkshire-based laser firm over the moon to help astronaut Tim Peake on space mission

A Raspberry Pi computer which is being used in space.
A Raspberry Pi computer which is being used in space.
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Staff at a laser cutting firm are over the moon after seeing their unique technology being used in space by British astronaut Tim Peake.

Barnsley-based Cutting Technologies has contributed to putting together unique computer systems used by crew members of the Principia Mission onboard the International Space Station.

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The mission will see Tim and his crewmates work on unique experiments that can’t be completed on Earth, with the overall aim of improving the understanding of the fundamentals of science and to demonstrate new applications for science and technology.

Cutting Technologies was instructed to laser engrave certain design details onto two augmented Raspberry Pi computers known as Astro Pi, which are credit card-sized computers.

Prior to the mission Tim asked school children across the UK to create and code computer science experiments on the Rasberry Pi devices and send them to him to complete in space.

Seven winners ranging from primary school pupils to A-level students were selected and their ideas will be brought to life by Tim.

Jane Robinson, director and co-founder of Cutting Technologies, said staff were thrilled to work on such a space age project.

She added: “This was a brilliant project to be able to put our name to and we’re excited to watch how Tim’s mission progresses.

“The overall competition connected STEM and schools brilliantly and we’re really proud to have played our part.”

Cutting Technologies was founded in 2003 and now has around 500 regular customers worldwide across a range of industries.

The company has 32 people in its team and its lasers are operational 24 hours a day.

Cutting Technologies cut and engrave in a variety of materials from wood and plastics to metal and fabric.

Company bosses say their laser engraving equipment is amongst the largest and most technologically advanced in the world.

For more information about the Astro Pi mission visit http://astro-pi.org/