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About JPL Solar System Dynamics

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About JPL Solar System Dynamics

JPL's Solar System Dynamics group is a member of the Mission Design and Navigation section. The group's primary products, services, and charter are described below.

Major Products and Services


This group generates accurate position and velocity histories (ephemerides) for the bodies of the solar system including the planets, planetary satellites, comets and asteroids. It also performs scientific research and provides science support and leaders to mission studies involving celestial mechanics, relativity, and other areas of dynamical science. Specific responsibilities of the group are to:

  • Continually update and improve the accuracy of the ephemerides using new data and new data types.
  • Export ephemerides to flight projects of all space faring nations and to an international community of scientists.
  • Maintain up-to-date orbit and physical data files for planets, satellites and thousands of comets and asteroids for mission design work.
  • Maintain data files of astrometric data for solar system bodies.
  • Assume lead role in defining fundamental coordinate systems and physical constants for solar system bodies.
  • Coordinate ground-based observing programs for solar system bodies that may become future mission targets.
  • Help plan future missions to
    1. study the comets and asteroids of the solar system and
    2. investigate fundamental gravitational theory.
  • Conduct research and plan missions to test certain areas of fundamental physics including the equivalence principle and gravitational waves.
2020-Jun-04 16:53 UT 
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