Click here for announcements regarding SPICE
data, software, tutorials and training; last updated January 28, 2020.
NASA's Navigation and Ancillary Information Facility
(NAIF) offers NASA flight projects and NASA funded researchers the "SPICE" observation
geometry information system to assist scientists in planning and
interpreting scientific observations from space-based instruments aboard
robotic planetary spacecraft. SPICE is also used in support of engineering
tasks associated with these missions. While planetary missions were the
original focus, today SPICE is also used on some heliophysics and earth
The SPICE system is freely available to
space agencies, scientists and engineers around the globe, subject to the
provisions explained on the Support and Rules web pages. It is also available to the general public
with the caveat that support from NAIF is VERY LIMITED.
SPICE deployment begins with production of a set of ancillary data. The SPICE system includes a software suite known as the SPICE Toolkit consisting of application program interfaces (APIs) that
customers incorporate in their own application programs to read the SPICE ancillary data
files and, using those data, compute derived observation geometry such as
altitude, latitude/longitude, and lighting angles, and to also determine various kinds of solar system events.
SPICE data and software may be used within many popular computing
environments. The SPICE Toolkit software is offered in FORTRAN 77, ANSI C,
IDL® and MATLAB®. A version for Java Native Interface is available
upon request. Third party
versions for Python, Ruby and other languages exist as well.
In addition to developing and maintaining the SPICE system components, NAIF
serves as the "Navigation Node" of NASA's
Planetary Data System, archiving SPICE data from NASA's planetary
exploration missions. Archived SPICE data from non-NASA missions is sometimes
available at other national archives, and for a very few such missions it is also available
from this NAIF Node website.
The current version of the SPICE Toolkit,
Version N66, was released April 10, 2017. To see what was added, fixed and
changed relative to the previous release read the "whats.new" file available
on this website under the Toolkit link for the language of interest to you, or
see that same file in a Toolkit package you have downloaded.
Sign up with SPICE
Announce to receive announcements from NAIF regarding new software, bug
fixes, important new kernels (data), training opportunities and similar items.
This is strongly recommended for all serious SPICE users.
Sign up with SPICE
Discussion should you wish to exchange SPICE-related ideas or questions
with other SPICE users. If you have a question for someone at NAIF, simply
send email to that person: don't use "SPICE Discussion."
Some customers find that using the Safari browser in association with some
of these web pages yields unfamiliar results; consider trying a different
Occasionally JPL's network security team will block incoming https, ftp and
email traffic from Internet domains from which hacking attempts or malware
have been received. Contact NAIF via a colleague if you believe this has
erroneously happened to you.