Being a fan of http://www.spaceflightnow.com and it's launch schedule page, I thought it would be great if it were possible for "launch enthusiast" to track live launch trajectories using Google Earth, or a similar technology, in addition to watching the online stream.

Does anyone know if such a capability exists?

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    $\begingroup$ Doubt it because such info often isn't public and if you join us in our Space Exploration Chat during one of our launch events (current schedule here, I add events to the schedule up to 3 days in advance) and where we post links to live streams and discuss them, you'll notice that hushed purpose launch broadcasters fast stop relaying telemetry data. Spaceflight101 often adds ground track, trajectory and other info in their mission / launch updates, sometimes even launch visibility maps, if that helps. $\endgroup$
    – TildalWave
    Apr 2, 2014 at 14:32

1 Answer 1


Probably the best tool to use for this sort of application would be FlightClub, developed by Declan Murphy. Launches have estimated trajectory data which the developer ingests into the system prior to launch to produce a viable simulation of the rocket's flight path. Post-launch completion, the developer then adjusts the trajectory to match the actual values (as shown on webcasts). You can opt to track these launches in "realtime" by following along with the launch.

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Simulation of the CRS-9 launch in FlightClub

This data is overlaid onto Cesium, a WebGL-based 3D earth viewing application, alongside mission "vitals" such as velocity, altitude, downrange distance, and more.

Here is an example of Flight Club simulating the SpaceX CRS-9 resupply mission to the International Space Station.

Full disclosure: I am friends with the developer of this application.


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