Mission location question


When the mission is over, will we have information about exactly where on earth the satellite passed over for the time period when the data was collected?


Yes, we append Latitude, Longitude, Altitude data to every row of your space dataset. Thank you for the great question!


Thanks! I have a followup question. I am trying to insert the orbital elements for the satellite we are using into a planetarium simulator (Starry Night Pro.) Then I can show the satellite’s position in approximate real time with the simulator.

Here is the interface from Starry Night to add an earth orbiting satellite:

The problem is the last entry in the Starry Night interface. The mean anomaly isn’t listed in the Wolfram Alpha site. how do I get it?


Starry Night software looks sharp! The Norad name and number of the satellite that we are going to run our missions on this round is ‘LEMUR 2 GREENBERG’ Norad # 42837 . It looks like you could input this in the Artificial Satellite field?


It looks like the Mean Anomaly for our mission satellite '‘LEMUR 2 GREENBERG’ is: 5:12:01.1 radians or in degrees 286.47889

For any Python programming fans, here is example code using the fun library pyephem:

Setup Python Environement:

  sudo apt-get install python
  sudo apt-get install python-dev
  sudo apt-get install python-pip
  pip install pyephem

Documentation for the PyEphem library:


import ephem
import datetime


Satellite TLE info for Spire constellation found here:

  This TLE was updated in this code 5/3/2018 .. should be updated if older than about 2 weeks

line1 = "1 42837U 17042N   18123.16511415  .00000459  00000-0  51343-4 0  9995";
line2 = "2 42837  97.6010  27.4336 0013199 354.9079   5.2003 14.91424684 43644";

tle_rec = ephem.readtle(name, line1, line2);

# Where is the satellite now
print ("Latitude (+N): ",tle_rec.sublat);
print ("Longitude (+E): ",tle_rec.sublong);
print ("Elevation (m): ",tle_rec.elevation);

# _M — Mean anomaly from perigee at epoch (°)
print ("Mean Anomaly (°): ",tle_rec._M);


That worked great! I was able to paste the TLE directly into Starry Night’s interface and it accepted it. The python program looks fun-- will be trying it out.


So glad that worked!

The python pyEphem is such a cool library … interested if you can get it working!