10 Best Space-Focused Apps

10 Best Space-Focused Apps

Although more often thought of as a distraction from the wonders of the night sky, smartphones and tablets have the potential to give people a better appreciation for what lies beyond Earth’s atmosphere. However, to get the most out of it, you need to download the right apps.

From apps that bring users the latest space news to apps that illuminate objects in our solar system and even the stars beyond, there are tons of amazing space-focused apps for Apple and Android devices. These are the best available.


The NASA app provides a huge amount of space content

Available on Android and iOS (free)

New and imagery features in the NASA smartphone app

When it comes to free space-centric apps, there’s one that no space enthusiast should be without, and that’s NASA’s own smartphone app. Not only is it free, but it has so many images, videos, mission news, and more that any other space app pales in comparison.

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Although it mainly offers the latest services from the top space agency, it’s also a great resource in general, providing information and charts on all the planets in the solar system and more. Even for those who simply enjoy seeing stunning images from space, the NASA app is the best in the app store.

My Moon Phase provides detailed information about Earth’s satellite

Available on Android and iOS (free)

Some information about the moon in the My Moon Phase app

You don’t have to look far into space to find something fascinating to learn, and that’s why one of the best space-focused apps is limited to providing information about Earth’s unique satellite, which NASA recently revisited with Artemis I. My Moon. Phase – The Moon Calendar does exactly what its name suggests, informing the user of the current phase of the lunar cycle.

With an easy-to-read user interface and tons of bonus information that most users probably didn’t know they needed, My Moon Phase makes learning about the Moon intuitive and fun. The Moon is one of the few objects in the night sky that doesn’t require a telescope to view, which, along with the fact that the app is completely free, is one of the most accessible ways to interact with space.

The sky map helps you identify objects in the night sky

Available on Android (free)

An image of the night sky next to a chart in the Sky Map app

Working out what the planets, stars, and nebulae in the night sky actually are can be a difficult part of amateur astronomy, but Sky Map makes identifying them easier. A previous Google project, Sky Map, is billed as a “handheld planetarium” and delivers on that promise in style.

As a free app, there’s no reason not to download Sky Map just to explore what’s out there. Although some users have had problems calibrating the app and there is no official version for Apple devices, it is still a great way to enhance your stargazing experience.

TerraGenesis is a unique way to explore space

Available on Android and iOS (free)

The Terragenesis app logo with an image of a planet in the background

While real-world space exploration is fascinating in its own right, with the recent Artemis mission and talk of a future manned mission to Mars currently dominating the topic, its scope may seem somewhat limited. Fortunately, there are space-focused apps that allow the user to let their imagination run wild a bit.

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TerraGenesis – Space Settlers aims to find deserted planets beyond our solar system and make them habitable through terraforming. It may sound far-fetched, but it draws on NASA’s real scientific foundations and gives you an interesting look at the factors that are necessary to sustain life on a planet.

The Solar System Scope lets you play with the Solar System

Available on Android and IOS (Free or $2.49 Premium)

The Solar System as seen in the Solar System Scope app

For anyone who likes to play with space models, the Solar System Scope puts the entire solar system in the user’s hands and gives them complete freedom to explore. Easy to use and packed with impressively detailed models, Solar System Scope is an educational tool that’s also fun.

While there are plenty of great astronomy apps out there for finding the planets, Solar System Scope thoroughly teaches the user about them and shows how they interact with each other. Although it’s free to download, paying a little extra also unlocks higher quality textures and removes ads.

The satellite tracker shows what is currently orbiting the Earth

Available on Android and IOS ($0.49/month subscription)

Advertisement for the Satellite Tracker mobile app

While the far reaches of space are fascinating, sometimes it can be just as interesting to know what happens much closer to home. Apparently many people thought so, as Satellite Tracker boasts over 10 million users who are hooked on the idea of ​​tracking man-made objects orbiting the Earth.

Satellite Tracker lets the user know when the International Space Station is passing overhead and provides information on where selected satellites are in the sky and where they will be. The app is free to download and try, but a small subscription fee is required to continue using it.

Sky Tonight can be the amateur astronomer’s best friend

Available on Android and iOS (Free or $0.99/month for Premium)

The night sky with a smartphone showing the Sky Tonight app

From the same company that developed the satellite tracker, Sky Tonight is a comprehensive guide to what’s happening in the night sky and more. Similar to the Sky Map, a specific object can be identified by pointing to the sky, but it can also provide detailed information about it and its trajectory.

There’s an augmented reality mode, a Time Machine feature that shows how celestial bodies change over time, and the ability to filter objects by brightness for a more focused view. A detailed calendar and the ability to set reminders ensure that the user does not miss any important celestial event and even takes weather conditions into account.

The First Woman of NASA is an immersive graphic novel

Available on Android and iOS (free)

Someone who interacts with NASA's First Woman application

While their core app is far more popular, it’s worth checking out NASA’s other smartphone and tablet offerings, including this charming new experience. NASA’s First Woman tells the story of Callie, a fictional astronaut living on the moon, and highlights the technology that may one day make it possible.

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What really makes the app stand out is the XR experience, which uses virtual reality and augmented reality technology to make the story much more immersive. What’s impressive about the free offering is that it offers an exciting educational experience that can’t be found anywhere else.

Space Flight Simulator is a fun way to play with rockets

Available on Android and iOS (free)

Missiles taking off from a spaceship in Spaceflight Simulator

There are plenty of great video games out there in space, but few of them are exactly realistic, and even fewer are available as smartphone or tablet apps. Fortunately, there are a few exceptions, and that includes the much-imitated Spaceflight Simulator app, which allows the player to build a rocket and attempt to launch it into space.

Based on real-world physics, orbital mechanics, and a realistically scaled solar system, Spaceflight Simulator gives you the chance to learn why spaceships are built the way they are, but it’s also good fun. There are some expansions and the full package costs $11.99, but the base game is free to play.

SkyView® Lite makes stargazing even better

Available on Android and iOS (Free or $2.99 ​​Premium)

Constellation in the night sky in the advertising graphic of the SkyView app

Another stargazing app that’s great for identifying celestial objects and has gained huge popularity in recent years is SkyView. Like SkyMap and Sky Tonight, you can point at the night sky to identify objects, but its simple and attractive user interface makes it stand out from the crowd.

With an AR mode, time travel mode, and the ability to use the app offline when you’re not connected to Wi-Fi, SkyView is more than a rival to the best stargazing apps, and its intuitive design may help some people win. At $2.99, the full version is also reasonably priced and comes with tons of bonus features.

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