SPICE data, also known as "kernels" for ESA Planetary missions are produced by the ESA SPICE Service. Two types of data are available from this website:
- Operational SPICE Kernel Datasets
- PSA PDS Archived kernels
If you are not familiar with how to use SPICE data, we recommend you to read about the following explanation provided by NAIF.
The ESA SPICE Service operates a repository that stores all the SPICE kernel Datasets (SKD) for ESA missions (when available). These kernels are for study, operational and missions or legacy missions and they are/were used for science operations and data analysis by the Science Ground Segments, Instrument Teams and scientists during the lifespan of the mission. These kernels where either generated or were accessible by the ESA SPICE Service.
These kernels are used during the day to day operations of the missions by the Science Ground Segment and the insturment teams and are usually automatically generated by a pipeline. These kernels are recommended for users that fall within the scope of the described applicability of the kernels.
The operational SPICE Kernel Datasets are available via:
- FTP server: ftp://spiftp.esac.esa.int/data/SPICE/
- As a Git repository with Bitbucket: https://repos.cosmos.esa.int/socci/projects/SPICE_KERNELS/
- As a zipped directory from the FTP server
The data used for each mission can be found here:
|Comets & Asteroids|
|Mars Express||Operational||ssols01.esac.esa.int||MARS-EXPRESS||MARS-EXPRESS.zip||Release Notes|
|Outer Solar System|
The original ancillary data used to produce the SPICE kernels (typically original from ESOC) are preserved and are accessible as indicated in the mission specific SPICE kernel repository.
PDS ARCHIVED KERNELS
The ESA SPICE Service creates an official, peer reviewed archive of the ESA missions SPICE data sets and stores them into the ESA's Planetary Science Archive (PSA). There, the archived SPICE data are available to anyone interested. The archive for each mission can be found here:
|Mission||Standard||Link to Archive|
|ExoMars 2016||PDS4||Coming soon|
For each mission the kernels and associated descriptive information are provided as a single PDS data set. These are accumulating PDS data sets. For SPICE users who don't need the most recent flight operations kernels, acquiring these archived kernels using the PDS SPICE Archives link above is by far the best approach. This way you'll be sure to get the entire collection of archived kernels available as of the current archive date.