NASA’s SPICE Toolkit software is released by NASA/JPL/NAIF, and sets a high standard for software tools in the space domain. This toolkit is used by JPL and other organizations to plan and analyze real-life space missions and operations. It’s primary use-case is science missions to distance celestial bodies.


The core of MaxQ, as described by NASA

SPICE is described by its development team as “a large collection of user-level application program interfaces (APIs) and underlying subroutines and functions”. The Toolkit includes significant technical reference documentation and additional user-focused tutorials, etc. NAIF has released versions of the SPICE toolkit for FORTRAN, MATLAB, C, and other science-oriented programming languages.

MaxQ is built on top of the SPICE Toolkit. MaxQ exposes a subset of NAIF’s toolkit to Unreal Engine 5 developers. In addition, MaxQ implements a large collection of Data Types and other support elements that streamline solving spaceflight problems in Blueprints. This enables users to apply the power of NAIF’s SPICE to solve challenging Spaceflight Problems without writing any code. In most cases there is a 1-1-1 correlation between SPICE, MaxQ Blueprints, and MaxQ C++ APIs.

NAIF maintans a list of SPICE tutorials which can be very helpful learning how to use SPICE (and in turn MaxQ):
SPICE tutorials by NAIF

More information about the SPICE Tookit can be found on the NASA/NAIF/JPL Website.

Still Didn’t Find Your Answer?

We’d love to hear from you, whether you’re looking for an answer
or just had a really good day and want to tell someone about it.

Reach Out