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A Python Wrapper for the NAIF CSPICE Toolkit

Project Description

SpiceyPy is a Python wrapper for the NAIF C SPICE Toolkit (N66), compatible with Python 2 and 3, written using ctypes.

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SpiceyPy is a python wrapper for the SPICE Toolkit. SPICE is an essential tool for scientists and engineers alike in the planetary science field for Solar System Geometry. Please visit the NAIF website for more details about SPICE.

IMPORTANT: I have no current affiliation with NASA, NAIF, or JPL. The code is provided “as is”, use at your own risk.


First install the dependencies (numpy, six, pytest) for the project. Then run pip install spiceypy to install from pypi.

SpiceyPy is also available through conda by either first installing pip via conda or by running conda install -c spiceypy.

If you wish to install spiceypy from source first download or clone the project. Then run python install. To uninstall run pip uninstall spiceypy.


The SpiceyPy docs are available at: The documentation for SpiceyPy is intentionally abridged so as to utilize the excellent documentation provided by the NAIF. Please refer to C and IDL documentation available on the NAIF website for in-depth explanations. Each function docstring has a link to the corresponding C function in the NAIF docs at a minimum.

How to Help

Feedback is always welcomed, if you discover that a function is not working as expected, submit an issue detailing how to reproduce the problem. If you utilize SpiceyPy frequently please consider contributing to the project by citing me using the zenodo DOI above.

Citing SpiceyPy

If the use of SpiceyPy is used in a publication, please consider citing SpiceyPy and the SPICE toolkit. The citation information for SPICE can be found on the NAIF website. To cite SpiceyPy please utilize the zenodo DOI badge at the top of this readme.

Known Working Environments:

SpicyPy is compatible with modern Linux, Mac, and Windows environments. Since the package is a wrapper, any environment not supported by the NAIF is similarly not supported by SpiceyPy. If you run into issues with your system please submit an issue with details. Please note that support for Python minor versions are generally phased out as newer versions are released.

  • OS: OS X, Linux, Windows
  • CPU: 64bit & 32bit
  • Python 2.7, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6


DaRasch wrote spiceminer, which I looked at to get SpiceCells working, thanks!

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