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Flight projects going beyond Earth and having a significant space science component are likely to need a variety of "observation geometery" calculations to support the planning for and analysis and archiving of science instrument data. This is a small task compared to efforts needed to build and launch an instrumented spacecraft, but if you don't already have a process in mind—perhaps even some previous implmentation experience—it is best to make some decisions early on. Project managers are encouraged to give up-front attention to this topic to help achieve excellent results while keeping cost and risk at low levels.

Selecting an Ancillary Data System (PDF) discusses important considerations in selecting an approach to providing ancillary data and observation geometry calculations for a flight project. It also highlights possible advantages of using the existing NASA SPICE system for doing so.

It could be useful to also examine the About SPICE and About NAIF materials found on this website.

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