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MONTE Python for Deep Space Navigation

Jonathon Smith, William Taber, Theodore Drain, Scott Evans, James Evans, Michelle Guevara, William Schulze, Richard Sunseri, Hsi-Cheng Wu
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology / NASA



The Mission Analysis, Operations, and Navigation Toolkit Environment (MONTE) is the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's (JPL) signature astrodynamic computing platform. It was built to support JPL's deep space exploration program, and has been used to fly robotic spacecraft to Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Ceres, and many solar system small bodies. At its core, MONTE consists of low-level astrodynamic libraries that are written in C++ and presented to the end user as an importable Python language module. These libraries form the basis on which Python-language applications are built for specific astrodynamic applications, such as trajectory design and optimization, orbit determination, flight path control, and more. The first half of this paper gives context to the MONTE project by outlining its history, the field of deep space navigation and where MONTE fits into the current Python landscape. The second half gives an overview of the main MONTE libraries and provides a narrative example of how it can be used for astrodynamic analysis. For information on licensing MONTE and getting a copy visit or email mdn\


astrodynamics, aerospace, orbit, trajectory, JPL, NASA

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