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11 Space API, because space is commanded

11 Space API, because space is commanded

Space travel has become a routine fact of life in the modern era, quite strange. While many of you reading this may have grown up when the launches were few, 2021 has several major companies funding space exploration and development and aeronautics.

One of the best results is the presence of so many amazing space APIs. Today, we’ll look at 11 of the most interesting APIs that can be used today. Although they do not have a special order in terms of quality, they progress approximately from the simplest to the most complex.

1. People in space right now

Developer: Natronics

Link from documentation

: Scope of documentation : Limited purpose

This API is the simplest on this list, because it actually does only one thing: it provides the number of people currently in space. The API also returns the names and spaceships related to those people, if the data is known. This API does not take input and really facilitates this function. However, it is great to get this information on demand, and the API can be used in combination with other APIs to get a holistic picture of current housing and space exploration efforts.

Two. Astronomical image of the day microservice (APOD)


Documentation link a POT : Scope of documentation

: Limited purpose

The microservice for the astronomical image of the day does exactly what it says on the board – it offers a unique astronomical image every day. What might be surprising is to know that the website that serves as the basic interface for displaying the API, Astronomical image of the day , has been for many years one of the most popular websites of all federal agencies in the United States. The APOD API has only one endpoint // apod, which returns the image of the day. Although there are a variety of parameters mentioned in the documentation that allow a functional recovery depending on the date or date range, the API is quite simple in design and is a delight for any fan of the space.

3. Where is the ISS? REST API

Developer: Linzig

Link from documentation

: Scope of documentation : Limited purpose

This API, called WTIA for short, is quite simple, but very, very interesting. In essence, all this API does is provide location data for the International Space Station, whether it is current, past or future (planned). Although this sounds simple enough, the ability to identify where a space station is in Earth orbit is objectively cold; Not only is it objectively useful, allowing amateur astronomers to trace the path of the ISS and contextualize it with other celestial objects in the sky.

Although all this sounds deceptively simple, we should place this API in its proper context. The ability to track the ISS’s position to identify it in the sky could be useful clock Really the space station, a simple but impressive example of modern data possibilities.

Four. Open API Catalog Astronomy

Developer: Astronomy Open Catalogs

Link from documentation

: Scope of documentation : Date

The Open Astronomy Catalog API is a combinatorial API of the Tidal Disruption, Open Supernova, Kilonova and East Stars astronomical data catalogs. These catalogs, when combined, represent an astronomical amount (intended for puns) of spatial data that can be combined, compared, and explored to inform, contextualize, and discover new events and interactions. The API allows you to search and interact in all of these catalogs, using arguments to identify the closest values ​​in a set (the «closest» argument), to format the data in a required format (currently. csv or .tsv), and even delimits from which telescope the data should be obtained (the “telescope” argument).

5. Planetary data API

Developer: Planet

Documentation link: Documentation

Domain: Multimedia / Reference

The main value proposition of the Planet, the parent organization behind the Planet Data API, is the image of the Earth every day to present data for high-level information. The API data is the end point of the API that collects this data and allows the user to access various images and content according to some parameters and arguments. This data is collected through two constellations of images, PlanetScope and RapidEye imaging systems, and is provided through APIs in a variety of formats.

6. SpaceX Telemetry API

Developer: R4yGM (SpaceX Data Usage)

Link from documentation

: Scope of documentation : Date

This API provides complex telemetry data and calculations for SpaceX launches. The API provides complex computational data to determine the descending locations of the range of each launch, object acceleration, vertical and horizontal speed measurements, and a complete analysis of the entire launch. You can invoke additional parameters to get the mission name, ISA measurement (an altitude measurement), and other factors.

This API is interesting because it encapsulates the modern era of space travel data information. Aviation enthusiasts and rocket enthusiasts now have a wealth of data available that has never been available in years past – the idea of ​​being able to cross-reference launch and location data for a private space corporation has been, until recent years , literally a science fiction thing.

7. OpenData solar system

Developer: The solar system

Documentation link: Scope of documentation

: Reference

This API returns information about major planets, moons and asteroids based on studies in the OpenData project of the solar system. The API can provide physical characteristics of objects (including mass, gravity, inclination, dimensions, etc.), their specific orbital parameters, the history behind the bodies (including discovery data and names), the known number of these objects, and relevant family data. . Data such as escape velocity and radius are also provided, allowing complex modeling of astronomical bodies in our solar system.

8. March Photo API

Developer: NASA

Link from documentation

: Scope of documentation : Multimedia

This API collects image data from various NASA missions to Mars, including Perseverance, Opportunity, Curiosity and Spirit. The data comes from unique databases for each source, with different options available to collect photos with specific items from each rover. For example, the Perseverance endpoint allows photos with MCZ_RIGHT (the mast on the right), EDL_RUCAM (the camera facing up), and more.

API results can be filtered by Martian Soil, Earth data, specific chambers, etc. This is a more complex API than other photo service APIs, but allows great specificity in terms of source and intent.

9. OpenEO API

Developer: openEO

Documentation link: Documentation

Domain: Reference

The openEO API is not necessarily a space API per se, but rather serves as an API for connecting to the back-ends of the Earth observation cloud. The API can be used for various complex applications and interactions. For example, a simple request can be made to query the Copernicus data source to deliver data to a specific location with the set coordinates, resulting in the data being provided in the specifically limited data area. This can be further filtered and transformed using different parameters.

This API is a great example of Shim style API , which serves as a layer between a multitude of data sources, allowing complex interactions to be facilitated with very little general information.

10. Amentum Gravity API

Developer: Amentum

Documentation link: Documentation

Domain: Simulation / Modeling

The Amentum Gravity API provides an extremely complex data set focused on Earth’s gravitational data. The gravitational data provided by API allows the calculation of anomalies in the Earth’s gravitational field due to the different characteristics of the Earth itself. As such, the API allows complex measurements related to the density of locations on Earth (approximately the height of the geoid) and the resulting gravitational anomalies for any given latitude and longitude.

While these data are primarily focused on the Earth and not on the space around it, these data on gravitational anomalies still have significant implications for space navigation, housing, and localized effects on Earth.

eleven. Illustris API

Developer: Illustris

Documentation link: Documentation

Domain: Simulation / Modeling

The Illustris API is certainly space-oriented, but it is perhaps the highest API concept of the whole group. The principle behind Illustris is to create a detailed and comprehensive simulation of galaxy formation to guide scientific modeling. The API is provided as an alternative way to access the main service and allows processing, searching, retrieving, analyzing and viewing a large volume of data.

While the API itself is extremely complex, after all, we are talking about modeling the formation of the galaxy here, it is still logically assembled around the related basic functions. For example, all subhalos detection functions for an entity are classified under, you guessed it, the “subhalo” path, with a relatively predictable demand paradigm. For this reason, it is extremely usable, albeit complex, and is gaining a place as one of the coolest space APIs on offer today.


There are many space APIs available, some of which have been widely covered and others that are beginning to become mainstream. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it is one of the best in operation today. What do you think about this list? Is there something we missed that we should cover? Tell us in the comments below!