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Standalone Space Software
Hacking upward...

All sorts of software related to space are available for downloading or purchase over the web.

These include programs for such areas as astronomy, satellite tracking, simulators, rocketry, etc. Note that "off line" and "standalone" here refers to applications that run outside of browsers. The programs may still access the internet for various tasks.

More and more such programs, however, obtain updates and data off the Internet so they are also, in a sense, on line as well.

General Space Software

HobbySpace related sections:

  • Multiple Media
    This page provides lists of various space related software such as Mars simulators, CD-Roms, etc
  • Rocketry Software
    Software to design your rockets.
  • Simulations
    :ots of links to on and offline space related simulators
Andromeda SoftwareBig selection of astronomy, space, scientific and educational software for PC and Macintosh.


AstroArts is a Japanese astronomy site with lots of information and links. This page currently includes:

  • Xplns - free planetarium simulator for Linux & other PC-UNIX with X-Windows.
  • StellaImage3 - image processing for astronomy for Win95/98 & NT
Open Source Astronomy / Space Software

Astronomer's Computer Companion: Wander the Stars with Your Personal Computer
By Jeff Foust and Ron LaFon - No Starch Press -

"...written by a professional and an avid amateur astronomer, is a complete introduction to contemporary astronomy and a guide to the best software, web sites, and other computer resources for astronomers. Whether you have only a passing interest in astronomy or you spend every evening on a mountain top, you'll find something exciting in The Astronomer's Computer Companion. "

The Orbital and Celestial Mechanics Website
David Eagle provides this site, which "contains freeware and software for sale which can be used to solve problems in orbital and celestial mechanics".

Earth Views/Maps
Imaging and mapping software for the earth.

Mars Views/Map

Lunar Views/Maps

John Walker's Freeware Space Programs, Screensavers, etc
John Walker created the original AutoCad program and has since retired to Switzerland. There he seems to spend his time writing wonderful freeware of all kinds. Check out his www.fourmilab.ch (a pun on the Fermilab accelerator laboratory near Chicago.) His space related freeware includes: Earth Viewer Solar System Live: interactive orrery Terranova: a new terraformed planet every day

Shareware for Space Simulations
The Educational Space Simulations Project provides this software that is useful for collaborative space simulations.
Stig's SkyCalendar
Stig Ottosen's offline version of his online Java astronomy events program.
SWARM - Solar Warning And Realtime Monitor
Be ready for the next solar storm. This program retrieves satellite and other types of data off the web and presents it in a sophisticated manner to help monitor the space weather and to help predict solar storms effects on earth.

Tracking The Eye - Hurricane Tracking Software
This shareware program from GenCode Technologies allows you to track hurricanes in real time using data and satellite imagery downloaded from weather databases on the web. Lots of options, graphics and animation features.

It runs in standalone mode, i.e. outside of a browser, so was included here in the Offline Software section, but needs at least a part-time link to the Internet to work.

Universe (Image Creator)
This shareware program from Jess Diard allows you to

"Create photo-realistic-looking images of deep space with Universe. Add star fields, suns, nebulas, gas clouds, and global clusters over the background color of your choice.."

For Win95/NT.


Apps for Handheld Devices - iPhone, iPod touch, iPad + Android
Lots of space related apps are now available for the Apple iPhone, iPod, and iPad devices. Here is a sampling:


More Software & Info

Satellite Tracking & Astronomy Software
Comsoft sells telescope control and satellite tracking software.
Bester Tracking Systems
Bester offers Unix software for Satellite Orbit Analysis and Tracking, Global Positioning System, and Astrodynamics Applications.

Stephen M. Schimpf offers this shareware planetarium program for Windows systems.

CyberSky is an accurate, yet easy-to-use planetarium program that provides an excellent way to learn about astronomy and explore the sky visible in the distant past, the present, and the far-off future. CyberSky can display and print attractive, highly-customizable maps of the sky as seen from your home, your favorite vacation spot, or any other location on the Earth. The program’s clean, user-friendly interface makes it easy to identify the objects you see in the sky and find the objects you want to see.

Distant Suns
Mike Smithwicks astronomy package is for

".. casual skywatchers to seasoned amateur astronomers ... Distant Suns is compatible with Windows 95,98, ME, NT and 2000, and Macintosh. With Distant Suns you may view the sky at the time of your birth, watch the sun set behind Saturn, land on Mars and follow newly discovered comets."

Other features include : Different astronomical stories and tutorials for each night of the year. Create your own "space movies". Print out star charts. In depth information of each star and planet. Over 16 million stars.-Event Alert system will warn you of any upcoming eclipses and meteor showers.

Distant Suns - Grand3D Screensaver

A "Free, Real-Time Satellite Tracking and Orbit Prediction Software" package
FlyOver by Tom Sylvestor predicts satellite flyovers for virtually any place on earth. It has scaleable map graphics and custom printouts. Downloading current data and current tracking is free, but observer location selection requires a registration fee.
InstantTrack 1.5
This powerful tracking program is offered by Amsat and proceeds from its purchase goes toward supporting Amsat projects.

Night Sky Observer
Gary Nugent provides these programs:

  • LunarPhase (Shareware) - "Displays real time information and graphics about the moon (or for a selected date). Contains many charts and diagrams, predicts eclipses, produces a range of printouts."
  • LunarPhase Pro (Commercial) - "More comprehensive that LunarPhase V2.62; includes a Lunar Explorer screen which allows the identification of lunar features from dropdown lists or by clicking on a map of the moon; maps of near and far side features as well as polar regions included; Orthographic and Mercator maps can be viewed and printed; calculates, displays and and animate libration effects; includes database of lunar features."
  • JupSat - "Displays the positions of Jupiter's satellites in real time (or for a selected date). Also calculates Great Red Spot Transit times and displays satellite track diagrams. Full details can be found at: This application is freeware." - Gary Nugent
NLSA - Nova Satellite Tracking Software
Northern Lights Software sells this program that "Real-time tracking of an unlimited number of satellites".
Orbit Visualization Toolkit
Orbit tracking system based on the open source VTK (Visual Toolkit).

PREDICT - A Satellite Tracking/Orbital Prediction Program
This program is "an open-source, multi-user satellite tracking and orbital prediction program written under the Linux operating system by John A. Magliacane, KD2BD. PREDICT is free software. Users may redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 2 of the License or any later version."

Available for Linux/Unix and for DOS under Windows.

Satellite constellation visualisation program from Univ.of Minnesota

Satellite Tool Kit - Analytical Graphics Inc.
Analytical Graphics professional level satellite tracking program.

Hughes Aerospace, for example, used it to plan the maneuvers of a communications satellite, which was placed in a useless orbit by a fualty launcher, to do lunar swingbys to put it into a viable orbit.

This program once cost several thousand dollars. Surprisingly, though, it has been made available now as freeware. The company says it makes money by selling sophisticated add-ons for particular applications.

Sienna Software Inc. - Starry Night
Full featured astronomy program with over 19 million celestial objects. Includes satellite tracking and addition of new satellites. Can control telescopes.
SkyMap Software
A planetarium and star-charting program for Microsoft Windows 95/98 and Windows NT4. "Written by astronomers, for astronomers." Info Demo
Skyshow Telescope Satellite Tracking
Celestial Computing offers this site about techniques and software to track satellites with your telescope.

STSPLUS Shuttle/Satellite Tracking
A program by the late David H. Ransom. It offers the STSPLUS program for DOS to track the shuttles and also satellites using NASA/NORAD 2-Line Orbital Elements. Shows position and ground track.

This freeware program offers "..satellite orbit prediction, tracking, and radio communication, with emphasis on low-cost and educational approaches for the do-it-yourselfer or hobbyist."
More Astronomy/Satellite Programs & Stores

Satellite Tracking Program Libraries

AMSAT Software Catalog
An assortment of software used in the amateur satellite community. Includes satellite tracking. A few programs also come with the source code - Downloadable Software - with source code

CelesTrak WWW Software Repository
T.S. Kelso's CelesTrak offers several satellite tracking packages to download. The site also provides the Satellite Tracking Software Index with descriptions of several other satellite tracking programs.

Microcosm Astronautics
Microcosm is a rocket company that also sells books and also software for space applications.

John Walker's Earth Viewer
John Walker, the inventor of AutoCad, now writes wonderful freeware such as this program that provides satellite orbital prediction as well as other astronomical displays.

Other lists


The Art of C. Sergent Lindsey





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