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COPERNICUS Provides Generalized Methodology for Designing Spacecraft Trajectories
August 15, 2011

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    › Applications
    › Licensing and Partnering Opportunity
    › Contact Information

Innovators at NASA's Johnson Space Center have developed a software system for solving generalized trajectory design and optimization problems for spacecraft. COPERNICUS provides a single, unified framework for modeling, designing, and optimizing spacecraft trajectories for robotic and human missions. The methodology facilitates modeling and optimization for problems ranging from a single spacecraft orbiting a single celestial body to a mission involving multiple spacecraft and multiple propulsion systems operating in gravitational fields of multiple celestial bodies. The unique architecture allows analysts to solve a trajectory optimization problem in one of three distinct control methods. This software may be released for U.S. Government purposes only.


  • Unified architecture: Consolidates trajectory design and optimization problems into a single conceptual framework
  • Breadth: Provides a framework to solve simple to very complex trajectory problems
  • Flexibility: Offers applicability to impulse-powered trajectories as well as low-to-high thrust finite burn trajectories
  • Usability: Features a visual interface to the standard text- and data-intensive mission and trajectory design process


  • Spacecraft trajectory analysis and planning

Licensing and Partnering Opportunity

This technology is being made available through JSC's Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office, which seeks to transfer technology into and out of NASA to benefit the space program and U.S. industry. NASA invites companies to consider licensing this technology for commercial applications.

Contact Information

If you would like more information about this technology or about NASA's technology transfer program, please contact:

Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office
NASA's Johnson Space Center
Phone: 281-483-3809
E-mail: jsc-techtran@mail.nasa.gov

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Page Last Updated: January 16th, 2014
Page Editor: NASA Administrator