Beta–2 Version 0.12.0 release date 2018-07-11

Download Links

The main OpenSpace application with only the minimal amount of data. On first startup, it will download the necessary datasets using the HTTP protocol. For a full download, use the Sync application.




Optional Planetary Datasets

For all downloads, see below for installation instructions.
Mars Download: Extra downloads of high resolution HiRISE patches (images and terrain model) on Mars.
Mercury Download Extra downloads of terrain patches created by the MESSENGER mission.
Moon Download Extra downloads of terrain patches for the Apollo missions to the Moon.

Optional Synchronization Download

Sync Download When starting up a scene for the first time, OpenSpace will automatically download all the necessary offline data from a server.  This optional download is provided in cases where this approach is not feasible, for example, if a fast internet connection is not available. In order to use this download, unzip it and place the containing sync folder into the OpenSpace base directory.



This page contains information about the second beta of version 0.12.0 of OpenSpace as released on July 11th, 2018. Please note that the software is as-of-yet incomplete and may be unstable. The main download package does not contain any datasets and either requires runtime downloading (done automatically at startup). Binaries for Windows and MacOS are available, but the source code is freely available on GitHub to peruse and compile for missing platforms or to get the newest version directly from the source. The commit of this version is c2b1a3fd42b107. In case of any questions or issues, send us an email or join our Slack support.


After downloading and unzipping the main package, the OpenSpace application (OpenSpace.exe) is located in the bin folder. This package does not include any of the necessary datasets, which are automatically downloaded for each scene on first startup using the HTTP protocol. Alternatively, the bin/Sync application will download all required data, which can potentially take a long time. OpenSpace requires the installation of the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2017and Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2013.

Additionally, there are optional Mars datasets available which can be downloaded separately. These show high resolution image and digital terrain patches on the surface of Mars. The zip file can be extracted at any location, though an SSD is recommended for a smoother experience. Then, the path to the folders Z:/Mars/CTX and Z:/Mars/HiRISE, for example, must be added to the OpenSpace/data/assets/customization/globebrowsing.asset file. Please note not to use \ in the paths and only use / as otherwise error messages will be generated at startup.


This package contains five scenes that are of interest, the DefaultNew HorizonsRosettaOsirisRex, and Voyager scenes, described below, with an additional variant of the default called Default_full with more optional content. The scene can be selected by editing the openspace.cfg file, which is found in the base directory. In this file, the Asset parameter points to a *.scene file in the data/asset folder that is executed and defaults to default, which means that data/asset/default.scene is loaded. This can be changed to, for example newhorizons or rosetta before starting OpenSpace. The scene files describe all the assets that are loaded for that particular scene, in the case of the default scene, it loads all planets, the moons of Mars, and the entire Digital Universe catalog.

After the application has been started, F2 and F3 open menus through which features of the software are accessed. Notable settings in these menus are the Scene Graph Properties which control parameters of individual elements of the loaded scene and the Space/Time window that is used to control the object the camera is focusing on, as well as the passage of in-game simulation time. In each scene, the keys 1–0, Shift 1–Shift 0, Ctrl 1–Ctrl 0 determine the Delta Time, that is the time at which the in-game simulation runs compared to the real world speed. Space pauses and unpauses the time. The ` key opens an interactive Lua console through which detailed settings can be set, see the documentation/LuaScripting.html for a list of commands. Also in all scenes, the left mouse button rotates the camera around the selected Origin, the right mouse button zooms in and out, and the middle mouse button rolls the camera. By pressing CTRL and using the left mouse button the object can be moved off the screen center. Pressing the F key, disable rotational friction, which will cause the camera to rotate around the object forever, whereas Shift+F performs the same operation for the zooming of the camera, and CTRL+F the same for a rolling motion.

After starting OpenSpace with a specific scene, the documentation/KeyboardMapping.html file contains a list of all the available keyboard commands, including a short description.

Our YouTube channel contains a set of tutorial videos that explain the usage of OpenSpace in greater detail.




This scene is enabled on default and provides the ability to look at detailed terrain models of Earth, the Moon, Mars, other planets, and the American Museum of Natural History’s Digital Universe. The view defaults on Earth at the current date. The currently displayed terrain can be changed by opening the GUI (F3), selecting the Scene Graph Properties (or using the Featured Properties), navigating to Earth -> RenderableGlobe -> Layers -> ColorLayers. On default, the ESRI VIIRS Combo is enabled, which uses the Suomi VIIRS daily images when viewing the whole Earth, but switches to a high-detail image from ESRI when zooming in. A layer can be enabled by opening the tree view of the object and selecting the Enabled checkbox. Additional Overlays are also available.

These layers are also available on the Moon and Mars to which you can navigate using the Space/Time GUI window.

On Mars, of special interest are the CTX Mosaic ColorLayers which are composite images of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s CTX instruments. These show a large area of Mars with 6 m per pixel resolution and are available for about 70% of the surface. If the additional Mars package was downloaded, it is recommended to open the data/assets/customization/globebrowsing.asset before starting and adding the CTX and HiRISE subfolders at the top of the file to the Mars table in line 11 (see example in the file). This will automatically make a subset of CTX and HiRISE terrain models available in the Layers list.

New Horizons

This scene shows the acquisition of New Horizons’ images of the Plutonian system in July 2015. The scene starts at around 10:00 on July 14th, around 10 minutes before a new image campaign starts. By selecting Pluto in the Origin dropdown menu in the GUI (F2) and moving time faster using the number keys, you can see the imprint of the instrument’s field-of-view on the planetary surface and see the images being projected. The images that you see are not aligned, since old positional information of the spacecraft is used to calculate these pictures. Newest information should be available to the general public soon and we will update OpenSpace accordingly.

In the top left part of the screen, a timer shows when the next image is being taken.

Additional keybindings: A: Focus the camera on the New Horizons space craft S: Focus the camera on Pluto D: Focus the camera on Charon L: Toggle the visibility of the labels of New Horizons’ instruments T: Toggle the visibility of Pluto’s and Charon’s shadows F8: Remove the already projected images from the surface Keypad 8, Keypad 2: Increase and decrease the height exaggeration on Pluto to show the terrain structure Keypad 9, Keypad 3: Increase and decrease the height exaggeration on Charon to show the terrain structure


The Rosetta scene shows the entire mission of ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft around the comet 67P. Also here, the spacecraft’s images are being projected onto the comet. In addition, the separation of the Philae lander is visible as well.

Additional keybindings: A: Focus the camera on the 67P comet S: Focus the camera on the Rosetta space craft I: Toggle the visibility of the free-floating image plane P: Toggles the image projection of Rosetta; useful if making long time jumps and not wanting to wait for the image projections to occur


This scene demonstrates the entire lifetime of the OsirisRex space craft on its way to the asteroid Bennu and it’s subsequent journey back to Earth. The scene starts out at Earth around the time of the spacecraft’s launch and has information throughout the entire mission until it’s landing back on Earth in Utah. The models of OsirisRex and Bennu are available, as well as a preliminary instrument timing, which uses the same image projection technique as employed in the New Horizons and Rosetta cases to show where images of the asteroid will have been taken.


This scene contains the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 missions as they were launched from Earth in the 70s and visited all the gas giants in the solar system. The spacecraft models are included and are pointed accurately throughout the mission. Position and orientation information are available until the second half of the 21st century.