I would like to know what are the simulation software tools available as of today (free or commercial) to perform some attitude and orbit control (AOC) or guidance and navigation control analysis, I am mostly interested in testing some attitude control algorithms.

So far I found two that maybe could be useful, do you know any others?

  • psatellite: Spacecraft Control Toolbox.
  • 42 (open source)

Does anyone had any experience with these software? Can you give me any suggestions?

  • $\begingroup$ MATLAB is always pretty good for orbit and attitude simulations $\endgroup$
    – MrPhooky
    Mar 23, 2017 at 10:14
  • $\begingroup$ I used 42 to simulate new attitude control algorithms for my undergraduate thesis. I might have some resources/sample code if you want more info. $\endgroup$
    – Matthew R.
    Aug 3, 2018 at 0:45
  • $\begingroup$ Late to the party, but: do MATLAB solvers have the numerical precision needed for orbital simulations? I always thought you needed special solvers for this sort of thing. $\endgroup$
    – user39728
    Jun 6, 2021 at 2:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The latest one is Basilisk. It is an astrodynamics software developed at the University of Colorado, Boulder. It is also open-source. Link: hanspeterschaub.info/basilisk/index.html $\endgroup$
    – Suraj
    Feb 18, 2022 at 16:15

1 Answer 1


There are a couple of great open-source tools available for that including NASA's Trick library. I did an internship at NASA where Trick was heavily utilized for GN&C software-in-the-loop and hardware-in-the-loop scenarios.

There is also Cesium for 3D visualization of your model and physics.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Cool. I didn't know Trick was public. Thanks for posting. $\endgroup$ Mar 29, 2019 at 14:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Happy to help! NASA has a massive collection of open-source software at code.nasa.gov $\endgroup$
    – esduran
    Mar 29, 2019 at 15:45

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