On this page, all necessary information for downloading, installing, and running the prerelease version of OpenSpace that was distributed for the Pluto Palooza event in May 2015 is provided. Please note that the software is as-of-yet incomplete and may be unstable. The downloadable packages (see below) contain all necessary data to run the application, but may require some additional installation. Please consult with the sections below to see if your computer fulfills the necessary requirements. In case of any questions, send an email with your question and the subject “OpenSpace Pluto Palooza” to this address.



OpenSpace has been tested on Windows 7 and Windows 8.

    Graphics Card that supports OpenGL 4 (Quadro series, GeForce 400+ series (nVidia)
    Dual Core Processor
    1.5 GiB RAM

OpenSpace can be found at this download location. The total size of the download is 1.2 GiB. After downloading, the 7z file can be unzipped into any location; an SSD drive is recommended but not required. OpenSpace can then be started using the “OpenSpace.exe” application, while the corresponding user interface is started using the “TimelineView.exe” application. Please make sure that the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable Packages found at this location is installed.


On a GeForce 980, we encountered a bug when the newest nVidia driver (Version 350.12; GeForce Game Ready Driver for Grand Theft Auto V – WHQL) is installed. It results in a rendering where only the onscreen information is visible. If this is the case for you, we recommend reverting back to the previous driver 347.88, which fixes the issue. You can find the drivers here.

Mac OS

OpenSpace has been compiled for Mac OS 10.10 (Yosemite).

Supported computers:

    iMac (Mid 2010 and newer)
    Mac mini (Mid 2012 and newer)
    Mac Pro (Mid 2010 and newer)
    MacBook Pro (Late 2011 and newer)
    MacBook Air (Mid 2012 and newer)
    MacBook (Retina, Early 2015 and newer)

To check if your computer supports OpenSpace, check this webpage. The OpenGL column must read at least 4.1. If your computer only supports OpenGL 3.3, you can still experiment with OpenSpace, but some of the features might not work as well as on other machines.

OpenSpace can be found at this download location. The total size of the download is 1.6 GiB. After downloading, the zip file can be unzipped into any location; an SSD drive is recommended but not required. OpenSpace can then be started using the “OpenSpace” application, while the corresponding user interface is started using the “TimelineView.app” application. If your computer only supports OpenGL 3.3, you can start OpenSpace using the “OpenSpace33” application instead.


This distribution of OpenSpace consists of two applications: “OpenSpace” is the main application with renderings and visual feedback; the “TimelineView” is an application that is specifically written for New Horizons and is used to control the rendering and provide a feedback about the currently active instruments. In the following, we will explain each of the two applications separately:


The start of OpenSpace will require some moments for the first time as cached files are created and all data is loaded. To the left is the image that you should see when starting up the application. If the window does not appear, check the console window for any error messages.
Startup View
The user interface in this window provides information (from top to bottom):

  1. Date: The current date in the application
  2. Simulation increment: How many in-game seconds pass per real-time second; also called Delta time in the rest of the document
  3. Avg. Frametime: How many seconds it takes (on average) to render the current view
  4. Next instrument activity: In how many (in-game) seconds the next instrument activity will occur, together with a progress bar and a percentage of the passed time since the last acquision
  5. Data acquisition time: The time of the next instrument activity
  6. Data acquisition adjacency: The time of the next upcoming LORRI instrument acquisition
  7. The list of all acquisition targets, with the current target highlighted in blue
  8. A list of all instruments of New Horizons; the currently active instruments are shown in green, LORRI having a + when it is taking an image.

The view is controlled using the mouse. The left mouse button pans the camera around the currently selected object, the right button zooms the camera in an out, and the middle mouse button rotates the camera around the line-of-sight. On startup, the focus is set to New Horizons, so zooming in will allow you to inspect the space craft.

Key bindings:

  • 1: Set the delta time to 1 second per second
  • 2: Set the delta time to 5 second per second
  • 3: Set the delta time to 10 second per second
  • 4: Set the delta time to 30 second per second
  • 5: Set the delta time to 60 second per second
  • 6: Set the delta time to 120 second per second
  • 7: Set the delta time to 360 second per second
  • 8: Set the delta time to 540 second per second
  • 9: Set the delta time to 720 second per second
  • SPACE: Pauses and stops the simulation
  • a: Set the camera focus to New Horizons
  • s: Set the camera focus to Pluto
  • d: Set the camera focus to Charon
  • z: Set the camera focus to Jupiter
  • x: Set the camera focus to Europa
  • g: Jump to February, 28th 2007
  • h: Jump to July, 14th 2015
  • q: Toggle a marker indicating the Sun
  • e: Toggle a marker indicating the Earth
  • j: Toggle a marker text for Pluto
  • k: Toggle marker texts for Charon, Hydra, Kerberos, Styx, and Nix
  • m: Toggle the drawing of the instrument fields between solid drawing and showing only the footprint
  • F1: Open/Close an on-screen GUI
  • `: Open/Close an interactive console


Timeline View
Please not that the main application has to be started before you start the TimelineView. It will connect automatically to the main application. The application is separated into four parts:


This pane handles the connection to the main instance of OpenSpace. On default, it automatically connects to an instance running on the same system (localhost). If the initial connection does not succeed, try connecting again until a status message in the lower left appears. It is also possible to connect to an OpenSpace instance running on a different computer, provided you have the IP address of that computer.


the current time in OpenSpace is shown in this pane that also provides the possibilities to jump to several pre-determined bookmarks with a drop-down list. Furthermore, it shows the current delta time and allows a quick scrubbing of that value with the slider. Lastly, the time in the application can be paused and resumed with the provided buttons.


To change the focus object of the camera, you can use the controls in this pane. There are a number of valid focus objects available from the dropdown menu, and there are two buttons that either focus on New Horizons or focus on the next target of any instrument.

Instrument View

The view on the left shows the instrument schedule. The current in-game time is shown in the center with a horizontal line and the two borders of that view are each 100 seconds apart from the current time. That means that all instruments in 200 seconds of the current time are visible. Each instrument on-board New Horizons is shown with a distinct color below. When the time progresses, different instruments will appear in the view, with the acquisition time and the target shown on the right. This image shows three simultaneous acquisitions of the ALICE Airglow, LORRI, and RALPH MVIC FT instruments.
Timeline View