Getting started


poliastro requires the following Python packages:

  • NumPy, for basic numerical routines
  • Astropy, for physical units and time handling
  • numba (optional), for accelerating the code
  • jplephem, for the planetary ephemerides using SPICE kernels
  • matplotlib, for the orbit plotting

poliastro is usually tested on Linux and Windows on Python 2.7, 3.3 and 3.4 (single codebase). It should work on OS X too with no changes (not tested).


The easiest and fastest way to get the package up and running is to install poliastro using conda:

$ conda create -n poliastro34 python=3.4 -q
$ conda install poliastro -c poliastro

You can also install poliastro from PyPI using pip, given that you already have all the requirements:

$ pip install poliastro

You can also download poliastro source from GitHub and type:

$ python install

Development installations are also supported thanks to setuptools:

$ python develop


It is recommended that you never ever use sudo with distutils, pip, setuptools and friends in Linux because you might seriously break your system [1][2][3][4]. Options are per user directories, virtualenv or local installations.


If installed correctly, the tests can be run using py.test:

$ python -c "import poliastro; poliastro.test()"
Running unit tests for poliastro

If for some reason any test fails, please report it in the issue tracker.