PCK kernels pertain to the big bodies in our solar system. Earth. Moon. Etc. These files contain physical and geometric constants, etc, that describe motions and orientations of these big bodies.

One important file is pck00010.tpc. This file has a lot of the constants we need, however no mass values. Mass values can be loaded from gm_de431.tpc.

geophysical.ker contains data to interpret NORAD “TLE” orbital elements. TLE’s are available for many Near-Earth Orbiting objects, such as Hubble Space Telescope.

File Purpose
pck00010.tpc Planetary Constants link
gm_de431.tpc Celestial Body Masses link
geophysical.ker TLE Orbits link

PCK files come in both binary and text format files. The text kernel files are viewable in any text editor.

More information can be found by downloading the SPICE PCK Tutorial:

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