satcat.net online satellite catalog

SATCAT Main Page

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Every 5 minutes, this site's catalog is synced with the publicly accessible spacetrack catalog maintained by United States Space Command.

Use the buttons below to request information from the satellite catalog.

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What Does All This Mean?

Visit the FAQ to learn more, or see the advanced page for more in-depth technical discussion.

About SATCAT

The Author

I am a former USAF and current US Space Force officer. I used to work at a Space Surveillance Network (SSN) site. My homepage is here.

The Site

Inspiration

At my job in the SSN, we used a combination of public and classified information to help us track satellites. I found that the tools available on classified networks are very capable, but those available on the unclassified side (i.e. the open-source or "normal Internet") are either

  1. not sufficiently advanced,
  2. loaded down with ads, Big Tech snoopware, performance-hogging scripts, and other garbage, or
  3. hopelessly unusable on goverment-issued computers.

SATCAT began as a personal quest to fix this problem. Hopefully it is also useful to others in the space business or to the space-interested public.

Its design and operation is governed by three rules:

  1. Simplicity - It should be easy for you to understand and use the site, and it should be easy for me to maintain.
  2. Transparency - There should be no hidden or secret operations, especially Google/Big Tech snoopware or cookies. (View the page source if you don't believe me.)
  3. Usefulness - This site should meet my original goal: hassle-free access to reasonably current SATCAT data, even on a government computer.

The sparse text-only design is not an accident, but a consequence of Rule 1. Rules 1 and 2 also contribute to the site's speed and usability.

What's Under the Hood?

SATCAT is powered by tle, a simple but powerful Linux-based program that I wrote myself. Learn about it here.

ELSETs are nothing but text! Why reinvent the wheel and use 100 MB of JavaScript or Python to do something that was originally handled with 80-column punch cards? Using that level of overkill betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the problem and is a symptom of lazy, script-kiddie programming. We don't do that here.