How to add Satellites to OpenSpace

OpenSpace uses the openspace.cfg file for general configuration. With this file set to use the default.scene file (Asset = "default"), satellite categories can then be added by editing data/assets/default.scene and adding the following line (or un-comment it if already present): asset.request('scene/solarsystem/planets/earth/satellites/satellites') The satellites.asset file can include one or more satellite asset files. Open any of the satellites_*.asset files to see some of the different options available. These categories were created by, an online satellite tracking site from which these files are downloaded. In fact, the satellite data files (in TLE format) specified above are downloaded from every time OpenSpace runs, in order to obtain the very latest telemetry. More details on these categories are shown at the end of this document.

Running OpenSpace with Satellites

To start, double-click (or run from terminal) bin/Release/OpenSpace.exe. There will be a number of log messages for the individual satellites that appear while the scene is loading. Once loaded, Earth will be the camera’s focus and the satellites and their orbital trails will be visible. A list of all satellite groups can be viewed by selecting in the GUI: Scene -> Solar System -> Planets -> Earth -> Satellites. All satellite objects are grouped within the categories listed. The check box with each group can be used to toggle the visibility of all its satellites. It is possible to modify the length of the orbital trail by adjusting the “Line fade” value in Renderable -> Appearance in the satellite group. A higher fade value shows more of the periodic orbital trails of the satellites.

Satellite Categories

As mentioned above, satellites are grouped by categories and sub-categories that are created by Below is a current listing of these (which may change at any time):


amateur experimental geostationary globalstar gorizont intelsat iridium iridium_next molniya orbcomm other_comm raduga ses


debris_asat debris_breezem debris_fengyun debris_iridium33 debris_kosmos2251


brightest cubesats iss military other radar spacestations tle-new

beidou galileo glosnass gps musson nnss sbas


education engineering geodetic spaceearth


argos dmc earth_resources goes noaa planet sarsat spire tdrss weather

Additional Features

See the Components/Satellites page for more detailed information and advanced usage of satellites in OpenSpace.