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Welcome to NASA's
SPICE Information System

The Navigation and Ancillary Information Facility (NAIF) has built an information system named "SPICE" to assist scientists in planning and interpreting scientific observations from space-borne instruments, and to assist mission designers and operations engineers whose jobs require access to the kinds of ancillary geometry information provided within SPICE.

SPICE is focused on solar system geometry and related information. The SPICE system includes a large suite of software, mostly in the form of subroutines, that customers use to read SPICE files (also known as "kernels") and to compute derived observation geometry, such as altitude, lattitude/longitude, and lighting angles. SPICE kernels and software may be used in a large variety of popular computing environments.

SPICE is used on NASA's solar system exploration missions, and some others in the space physics and astrophysics domains. It is also being used as an adjunct to primary capabilities on some non-U.S. missions such as Mars Express and Rosetta, and is under consideration for use on Hayabusa and SELENE.

There is no charge to individuals to obtain SPICE data and software.

Last updated November 17, 2004

  • A substantial update to the suite of SPICE Tutorials was completed in May 2004 and is now available from this website.

  • The current version of the SPICE Toolkit, Version N0057, was released in March 2004.

  • The next release of the Toolkit is expected in January 2005. It will contain a substantial extension to the reference frames subsystem, allowing both NAIF staff and SPICE users to construct (define) new reference frames based on any of a wide assortment of specification directives, provided in a Frames Kernel, that are interpreted (carried out) at run time.
  • cygwin gcc and f77 will hopefully be added to the list of officially supported computing environments with the next Toolkit release.