Can you solve NASA's Pi Day 2024 riddle?

Illustrated GIF of planets orbiting the sun.
Scientists recently discovered seven Earth-like planets orbiting the star TRAPPIST-1, similar to the planets in this animation. (Image credit: NASA/JPL)

Happy Pi Day 2024!

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to solve problems for NASA to help with the exploration of other planets in the solar system?

In celebration of Pi Day 2024, you can do just that and take the annual NASA Pi Day Challenge. This is a fun way to put on your scientist and engineer thinking cap and try your best at a series of questions all surrounding the mathematical constant, pi. 

What is pi? If you recall from mathematics class back in grade school, it's approximately 3.14159 and can be used to figure out the circumference of a circle of the volume of a square.

While there are many uses for it in different STEM jobs and fields, it's also very important for engineers and scientists at NASA to help study not just our planet but others across the solar system and even other galaxies.

Related: Pi Day 2024: Why NASA uses only 16 of the 62 trillion digits of pi we know

An illustration of NASA's TESS spacecraft, designed to survey the entire sky in search of exoplanets, or planets orbiting stars other than our sun. In its two-year primary mission, TESS identified more than 2,600 possible exoplanets and counting. (Image credit: NASA/JPL)

This challenge is a tradition that has been on-going for the last decade put on by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Education Office and features numerous math problems you have to solve using pi.

Some of the questions you can answer this year pertain to missions including the Deep Space Optical Communications technology on NASA's Psyche spacecraft, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft, Earth-orbiting satellites, rovers on the Moon, and even the Hubble Space Telescope and James Webb Space Telescope.

So, let's get solving! You can find each of the problems with an accompanying worksheet you can do all your work online and the answers will be posted by NASA so you can check your work!

There are nearly four dozen different questions you can figure out, so try a few or do them all to "cook up" a unique way to get space-y and celebrate Pi Day 2024!

Originally posted on

Meredith Garofalo
Contributing Writer

Meredith is a regional Murrow award-winning Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and science/space correspondent. She most recently was a Freelance Meteorologist for NY 1 in New York City & the 19 First Alert Weather Team in Cleveland.  A self-described "Rocket Girl," Meredith's personal and professional work has also been recognized over the last decade. This includes the inaugural Valparaiso University Alumni Association First Decade Achievement Award, two special reports in News 12's Climate Special "Saving Our Shores" that won a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award, multiple Fair Media Council Folio & Press Club of Long Island awards for meteorology & reporting, and a Long Island Business News & NYC TV Week "40 Under 40" Award.  Meredith's 15 year career includes a wide variety of experience across the US stemming from her internship at WGN-TV in Chicago. Meredith worked at local television stations in New York, Ohio, South Dakota, Florida, and California and nationally with WeatherNation. Meredith is also an accomplished reporter, producing weather and science stories.  This includes rocket launches at Vandenberg Space Force Base and Cape Canaveral, in depth special reports and features on NOAA's GOES-R and JPSS satellite series, and coverage on some of NASA's biggest accomplishments. She's interviewed some of the top scientists and leaders of the space & science community, being selected as the only meteorologist to travel with the GOES-West satellite from Colorado to Florida in 2017 on the C-5M Super Galaxy.  Meredith frequents as a panel moderator at the Space Symposium & Satellite Conference, has been a judge for the Space Foundation's Space Technology Hall of Fame & reoccurring moderator for Foundation for the Future. Meredith spends countless hours doing school, career, & motivational talks and podcasts to help encourage women pursuing STEM careers and inspire our future generations. She moderates panels, serves as emcee for events, & conducts interviews to further storytelling on space & science topics.