I read the previous question on this site about astrodynamics and I have tried STK (free version) and GMAT, but I could not find software to simulate and optimize a launch trajectory. Is there a free (and ITAR-free) solution for this kind of problems?

Ideally, I would like to be able to simulate trajectories of a reusable first stage returning to the launch site.


1 Answer 1


Software written in the US? If your launch is anything but a toy rocket that goes up a few hundred feet and if you expect any decent level of accuracy/fidelity from the simulation, probably not. Software written elsewhere, perhaps. ITAR is a US-specific concept.

The problem is that the very same software that will let you simulate a high energy launch with reasonably high accuracy and fidelity is exactly the same software that is needed by nefarious groups hellbent on sending a missile to a US city. This is one of the central areas that results in a piece of space-related software being deemed as ITAR-restricted.

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    $\begingroup$ Yes, I am hoping maybe an european solution exists. Though putting such software on ITAR does not achieve much, if you have an ICBM you can surely write your own. $\endgroup$
    – gosnold
    Commented Sep 7, 2014 at 19:09

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