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Questions About a Specific SPICE Kernel

The majority of SPICE kernels, especially the more modern ones, include "metadata" -- data about data -- within the kernel file. These metadata are provided in one of two ways.

- For text kernels (IK, FK, LSK, SCLK, MK and text PcK) the metadata are simply inserted in the file... at the very top and/or after a "/begintext" and before a subsequent "/begindata" token occurring within the file. These metadata, and indeed all the "real" data of the kernel, may be viewed by opening the text kernel with any text editor (e.g. vi or emacs or MS Word) or text display tool (e.g. cat or more or print).

- For binary kernels (SPK, CK, EK/ESQ, binary PcK, DSK) the metadata are provided within a "comment area" within the file. These metadata may be viewed using the "commnt" utility program provided in the SPICE Toolkit. (Other mechanisms for manipulating these metadata also exist.)

See the comments tutorial for more information about metadata within SPICE kernel files.

The SPICE Toolkit contains some kernel utilities such as "brief" and "ckbrief" for summarizing the contents and time coverage of SPK and CK files, respectively.

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