How to Navigate to Spacecraft that Don't Appear in Celestia?

Most spacecraft addons available for download in Celestia do not readily appear right away on Celestia for two reasons:

  • The most likely reason is that it simply DOES NOT EXIST ANYMORE in REAL LIFE. For example, you can only see Mir from 1986 to 2001, and Cassini from 1997 to 2017.
  • Alternatively, it simply isn't launched yet until a specific time in the future. For example, you can only view JUICE from 2023 onwards

For PC Version 1.6.2 and older, you can use Jan Stegehuis's Spacecraft Goto script to automatically jump in time on when a specific satellite mission operated in real life. Unfortunately, this doesn't work on PC Version 1.7.0 and all Mobile Versions.

That being said, here are the Mobile Version's steps on how to make past and future spacecraft appear on Celestia:

Step 1: Search for a Spacecraft and Go to Settings

We will use Mir as an example. As you can notice, Mir doesn't appear on the date shown on top right. This is because the old space station crashed onto the Pacific Ocean way back in March 2001

The Settings are hidden inside the Main Menu button

Step 2: Search for Current Time

It is located under the Time & Region section

Step 3: Click Select Time

Make sure your Time Zone is set to UTC first, since the Beginning/Ending dates of all spacecraft in Celestia are coded in UTC and not in Local Time

Step 4: Type the Date of your Preference

To prevent yourself from wild guessing the dates, you can always click the Web Info button of each spacecraft hidden on the Info button (see screenshot from Step 1).

Step 5: Congratulations!

You have successfully viewed the spacecraft with all of its glory! For some spacecraft, you can also use the Time Control button to see the missions' changes over the years