Where to find orbital data.
NOTE: This page has been superceded by the
"Tracking Programs and TLE Resources" page.
Note: Remember to switch your browser to 'Load to Local Disk', or
similar, when retrieving the elements from the indicated archives.
There are several locations of recent orbital data to be found about
the net. Most often they are in the form of two-line, or Keplerian
elements. These data sets detail the orbital parameters for a given
satellite at a given time and can be used in a prediction model
(such as SPG4) to locate the satellite.
AMSAT, the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation, have an
of the format.
Such element sets can be obtained from the following sources:
The SEDS site archives the molczan's element files (includes elements
not published by NASA/USSTRATCOM) and Allen Thomson's element files,
through August 2000.
- As of 2005 Apr 01, the Space-Track.org
website became the primary distributor of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) 2-line orbital
elements and related data, replacing NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Orbital Information
Group (OIG), which permanently ceased operations on 2005 Mar 31.
- T.S. Kelso provides orbital elements and related software via his
- NASA's Human Space Flight
website provides predicted ISS
and Shuttle elements, which take into account planned orbit manoeuvres.
- AMSAT's WWW server
provides elements of satellites of interest primarily to radio amateurs.
- AMSAT run a listserver which distributes elements. Send a message to
email@example.com asking to be added to the KEPS list.
- The NASA shuttle elements mailing list provides you with exactly that.
Send a message with the words 'subscribe STSTLE "Your name"' in the body to
Additional pages for obtaining orbital elements can be found at the
"Tracking Programs and TLE Resources" page, and the
"Satellite Predictions" page.
Link to the "VSO Home Page"