Ancillary Data

Ancillary data are provided in SPICE format to the scientific community by the ESA SPICE Service. SPICE is an information system, developed and maintained by the NASA's Navigation and Ancillary Information Facility (NAIF) Team, the purpose of which is to provide scientists with the observation geometry information needed to plan scientific observations and to analyze the data returned from those observations.

SPICE Support

This multi-mission capability of SPICE has been used for more than 20 years now on many NASA missions. More recently, scientists who work with data from ESA's planetary missions (Mars Express, Venus Express, Rosetta, Smart-1, ExoMars2016, BepiColombo and JUICE) use SPICE to analyse their data. Find more about SPICE for ESA missions.

Operational SPICE Kernels

The ESA SPICE Service leads the SPICE operations for ESA's planetary missions. It operates software to convert ESOC ancillary data (orbit, attitude and spacecraft clock correlation data) into the corresponding SPICE format. In partnership with NAIF, the team also works to produce the other mission-specific SPICE kernels. All kernels are stored on an anonymous FTP repository accessible here.

ESOC ancillary data used to produce SPICE kernels (SPK, CK and SCLK) are preserved and accessible from here.

Archived SPICE Data Sets

The ESA SPICE Service creates an official, peer reviewed archive of the ESA missions SPICE data sets and stores them into the PSA. FTP links to these data sets are provided in the "Access Kernels" section of this page.

Access kernels

Operational kernels

The SPICE repository contains all the operational kernels for ESA's missions, organised by kernel type.

Browse Repository

Archived SPICE Data Sets



Training workshops focused on how to use SPICE software and data are occasionally offered at ESAC. Future workshops will be announced here.

Related Documents

Useful for data producers:

  • Technical Note on Geometry and Position Information
  • Time Standards Overview


For any question/suggestion about these pages, or SPICE for the ESA missions in general, please contact the ESA SPICE Service.