Keeping an eye on the sky
Click here for the legacy pages of the discontinued SatSpy software for Windows
The SatSpy.com story
Between 1995 and 2001, SatSpy was synonymous with a computer program easing the path towards observing satellites crossing the night sky by offering a graphical interface in addition to mathematical calculations of the orbits. This was done with the help of data provided by public or private stakeholders, in the form of a standardized set of numbers that can be used by an orbit propagator to compute the position of a satellite at any time. In 2001, the rightsholder and creator of SatSpy, Dave Capelluci decided to stop updating the product and ended development. The decision was a personal one, in part due to the success of SatSpy who became popular enough for crackers to bypass the limitations and provide cracked copies and serial numbers, thus reducing the income of the creator.
In those 6 years, 5 versions of the SatSpy software brought together a small community of satellite observers and become part of a larger history that is still written long after. It was in the last period of publishing that one kid from Eastern Europe discovered it and used it to start on a path to deepen his understanding of celestial mechanics and space industry. Acappella Publising ceased the publication of SatSpy in 2001 and a cyber squatter acquired the use of the satspy.com domain soon after. Fast forward some years after and the kid from Eastern Europe, grew up and took a position where the knowledge about satellites and space where part of the job description. When the European Union first regulated on an independent capacity to track space objects, the Decision No 541/2014/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 establishing a Framework for Space Surveillance and Tracking Support had input from the former user of SatSpy, having in mind the contributive nature of data that could be inserted into SatSpy and the open nature of the standardized data sets.
The landscape of software and websites that can provide the same general functionality as SatSpy is now much more diverse and their capabilities evolved but this website is not only about a computer program. Many years after the domain was cybersquatted, it was reacquired by the one who never forgot how consequential was in its career development, the old website was dug out from the memory of the Internet and all the pages are now accessible in the original format HERE.