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SGC, a 3 Dimensional Galactic Coordinate System

Quick Access Links


Key Lever

[3D Local Stars] ONLY works
with browsers: IE v.11, Pale Moon, Lunascape, Maxthong, SeaMonkey or Brave, with the free Cortona 3D viewer downloadCortona Plug-in installed.

Interstellar Navigation Projects

Mission Profile Trip Calculator (v1.21) New October 14, 2018

A single page app that can chart mission parameters, including precise ship time dilation between any two locations and on 38 different ship types.

    Chrome users: A June, 2018 security policy change forces you to click on something, before audio can play on a page.

    To allow you to hear the Calculator's start-up audio effect, you will get a notice box. Just click the notice's [ Close ] button, to start the Calculator with full audio.

Try the MP Trip Calculator


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Start screen

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Mission with delayed start date

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Manual mode - You set mission parameters

  • How it Works
    1. Pick a Start, Destination from either the 'Images', or the '700 light year' location database (not available in Firefox).
    2. Pick one of 38 ship types.
    3. A mission chart appears.
    4. Ships traveling near to the speed of light get larger time dilations. Time goes slower onboard the ship.
    5. Reality based ships travel at sub-light speeds.
    6. Most fictional ships travel at Faster Than Light (FTL) speeds.
    7. Some ships have Short-Hop Trip Boosters for a quick 1/3 speed.
  • Guides
  • Features
  • Audio effects and Music Tracks - A Music short / long button allows longer music playback.
  • Earth vs. Ship time
  • Arrival dates with unlimited years
  • Set any custom departure or arrival date and the Trip Calculator auto-finds the other.
  • Two stellar databases: Images (189 locations), 700 ly (11,083 locations)
    (over 4.82 billion possible trips)
    (The larger, 700 ly dbase is not supported on Firefox browsers. A Firefox bug causes this dbase to time out and no selection is possible. Use a Chrome browser instead, to see and use the 700 ly dbase. The button to switch dbases will not appear in Firefox.)
  • Sort the 700 light year dbase by 20 stellar types for both departure and arrival locations.
  • Choose Rendezvous or Fly-by mission types.
  • Find distances between any two locations.
  • Mission data: Days to Top Speed, Top Speed achieved, G-Force, Ship time dilation.
  • Rendezvous missions, that fail to reach top speed, begin mid-point deceleration and become 'Inverted V' type missions. Similar, exception mission profiles for Fly-by, where top speed is not achieved, can also occur. With such missions, special case math and charts are automatic.
  • Manual mode allows different speed measurements: mph, kph, mps, kps, light c = 1 and different distance measurements: miles, kilometers, light years, parsecs, AU (Astronomical Units).

Starship Simulator (v1.0) New April 24, 2018

What is it?

An educational, reality based, Starship simulation with audio, animation and video effects. Features can run simultaneously, just like a flight simulator. There is no game play.

Download the Illustrated Guide, screenshot below, to see all the features.

Browsers - Which ones work?

    All features + 3D VRML Local stars viewscreen with the free Cortona 3D viewer download 2Cortona 3D Plugin

  • Internet Explorer (version 11 is already in Windows 10)
  • Pale Moon
  • Sea-Monkey
  • Lunascape
  • Maxthong
  • Brave
  • All features except 3D VRML - Local stars viewscreen
    These popular browsers have discontinued support for older NPAPI plugins like Cortona 3D. Unfortunately, Cortona has no plans to update their 3D fly through plugin. Chrome dev report

  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Edge
  • Opera
  • Not tested

  • Mac Browsers: Safari, Chrome, Torch, Opera, Firefox

The Starship Simulator has a fly-through, [3D Local Stars] Viewscreen, which can only be viewed with some browsers. You also must have installed the free: Cortona 3D viewer download 3Cortona 3D Plugin. (Install the browsers before the plugin.)

This [3D Local Stars] Viewscreen is an original, 3D world, which I created from scratch and it uses a Virtual Reality code, VRML, which still gives an amazing, 3D smooth, fly-through experience, better than any other code, in my opinion. It's worth checking out. I believe it is the largest VRML world online.

Window users can install the 3D Viewer and assign a compatible browser to handle the 3D Local Stars .wrl file. For example: Even though you may be in Chrome, clicking on the 3D Local stars button would open a different 3D viewscreen compatible browser window.

  The current js code, however, automatically removes the 3D Local Stars control buttons from the cockpit yolk for Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Opera browsers. Without the buttons, you cannot even try this. I would be happy to install an on/off 3D button on the yolk, if anyone wants to use this fix. Let me know.

iPhone & Android?

Android works, but has issues. I would not recommend it. There are ways to fix the code for smartphones, but I have no plans to do this. With all the layers of controls and options, the simulator is best experienced with a notebook or desktop.


Starship Simulator Guide version 1.0 April 22, 2018

Updated guide version 1.0.(11 MB)


  • Animated buttons, sliders and modules
  • Advanced Monitors:
    • Systems, navigation, destinations, ship views
    • Cycle speed, brightness, fade and stagger settings
    • Selectable 5 pop-up sizes for monitor views
  • 42 Destinations with external Pan, Zoom and speed controls
  • Destination Data: Location status and weather data
  • Throttle and Warp Travel, Auto landing: audio effects and animations
  • Cockpit Mood Lighting
  • Transparency: Walls / Floor, Window seams, Overhead
  • Cockpit Resizer with Zoom
  • Keyboard - clickable with guide
  • Guide Panel: auto updates to latest used feature, scrollable, size control and Quick Pick Links
  • Cockpit Sounds
  • Comm Channel: Historic, educational audio recordings and featured music, different, for each destination
  • 38 Ship Types with auto mission stats for travel info from Earth to whatever is the current, external destination
  • Trip Calculator access lever - opens new browser tab with more precise, mission profiles, between any two locations
  • Viewscreens:
    1. Sky Map (click and Go)
    2. Earth map (click and Go)
    3. Sky
    4. Earth 3D and Street image views
    5. Moon 3D
    6. Mars 3D
    7. World Wide Telescope 3D
    8. Solar System 3D
    9. Galactic Stars 3D
    10. Video Collection: entertaining, educational and featured music
      • Cockpit - 83 videos
      • [3D Local Stars] world - 18 videos
      • Over 6 hours of video
    11. [3D Local Stars] (VRML) Cortona 3D viewer download 4Cortona 3D Plugin required:
      • 3D smooth movement in all directions
      • 220+ stars: All known stars within 25 light years and selected stars, further out
      • 150 preset viewpoints with smooth 3D flight
      • Transparent 15 and 25 light year distance spheres with on/off
      • 4 shortcut sphere buttons to Viewpoints collections
      • 3 axis bars with light year distance numbers - Solar System in the center gap
      • Multiple exoplanet systems and newly discovered stars
      • 18 videos on selected locations

The Starship Simulator works with these browsers:

Download SeaMonkey

Chrome Browser

Chrome gets an opening notice to activate the audio feature.

Firefox 52 or newer

Downlad Maxthong

Starship Simulator Access

If you are using any browser from the left column, you can access the Starship Simulator. (Other browsers will not work with all features.)

Starship Simulator with systems off
Full Starship Simulator Cockpit

Cortona 3D viewer download 6Cortona 3D Plugin required for the [3D Local Star] Viewscreens.

Please allow the Starship Simulator several minutes to load. Graphics and audio will load faster after the first time.

Try the Starship Simulator

Key Lever

Only Seamonkey and Maxthong (Firefox v51, Chrome v61 or before) browsers will show buttons for the [3D Local Stars]. But, other browsers, listed below, can skip the Starship Simulator and access the [3D Local Stars] Viewscreen directly.

The [3D Local Stars] Viewscreen, works with these browsers:

Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer version 11

comes installed with Windows 10

Download SeaMonkey

Downlad Maxthong

Download Pale Moon

Download Lunascape
Lunascape Browser

brave browser

(Firefox versions 51, March 2017
and older will also work.)

[3D Local Stars] Viewscreen - Direct Access

You must install or use one of the browsers on the left, (each logo is linked to an official download page), and you then need to install the free Cortona 3D viewer download 7Cortona 3D Plugin. Only then, will you be able to open the [3D Local Stars] Viewscreen. Always install new browsers first, then the Cortona Plugin.

If you use any other browser, or if you try to access the Viewscreen without installing the Cortona Plugin, you will just download copies of the [3D Local Stars] file and the 3D viewscreen will not open at all.

 Local Stars VRML MP Navigator Fly Through 30 light year map Start Position screenshot

Access only the [3D Local Stars] Viewscreen

Cortona 3D viewer download 8Cortona 3D Plugin required

Try the Viewscreen

Pale Moon and Lunascape are multi-core browsers. Set them to Mozilla or Chrome for best functionality.


Click to access Screenshots

See Screenshots of the Starship Simulator

Video Demo

Buy the Ray Lynch music from this video

Lesson Videos

Detailed log of bug fixes and changes

Interstellar Navigation Projects

Mission Profile Navigator (v.4.31) Updated December 15, 2019

A navigational tool with a printable report for mission profiles between any two locations, or to a rendezvous with a moving, second starship.

Try it in Excel

    You must have a copy of Excel 2007, or newer on your computer, to be able to view this worksheet. It is too complex to run with MS Office 365 - Excel online or Google Sheets.

 Click to open large image
Click to open large image


  • More than 12,000 coordinate locations for stars, nebulae, clusters, galactic waypoints and other galaxies.
  • Earth and Ship time mission durations
  • Arrival dates Earth and Ship times
  • Custom settable start dates
  • Auto course adjustments for stellar proper motion, based on ship type and mission duration. This allows a solution to 'how to hit a moving target' problem by calculating 5 iterations to find the final stellar rendezvous coordinates.
  • 38 Ship database

Mission Navigator Profile Guide in pdf

  • Plots closest ship passing distances during mission for stars within sensor range.

      Note: Stars, with known proper motion, are automatically calculated with coordinate positions for 200 equal slices of the mission duration, based on Earth time. Each of these stellar coordinate positions are then used to calculate the 200 distance values from each star to the moving starship.

      The Sensor Report shows how close, on each mission slice, the ship passes each star. The user can set the sensor range in light years. The Sensor Report automatically divides all mission lengths into 200 slices. Longer missions, with a lower ship velocity, will allow stars to move further along their Proper Motion coordinate paths and thereby show different distances from the star to starship for each of the 200 mission slices. For longer missions the duration of each slice is also proprtionally longer.

  • Ship headings in RA and galactic declination

      Note: Arbitrary change, for this study only, from standard declination [90, 0, -90] to [0, 90, 180] to avoid negative values, when giving course headings.

  • PDF Mission reports, printable for each mission
  • 3D Position charts
  • Stellar Dbase search, sort, start and destination locks

Mission Profile pdf report examples

Reports show the Mission Profile from any start to any destination. For missions within the full dbase listing, out to 107 light years, stellar fly-bys are also tracked. Each star, within sensor range, has it's own motion path plotted and these paths are compared to the starship's path to find passing distances and close stellar encounters. A slower starship, on the same mission path, will show different passing distances, because the stars will have travelled for more time during the longer mission. Differences can even show up in passing distances to stars, when a mission is changed from Rendezvous to a Fly-by.

Mission Navigator reports - Click to see a close up page

For 'hard' Sci-Fi writers who wish to get a Mission Profile between any two stars with any starship type or to rendezvous with a second moving starship, on it's own course and speed, you are invited to . You can also specify any past or future start date.

The Mission Profile Navigator is certainly complex and I would be happy to make the profile for your story research. I am aware of no other source that can give you answers of what stars you will fly by on a mission between any two locations. Once you master the MP Navigator, creating such a mission profile can be done within 5 minutes.

Stellar Distance Matrix ( Excel spreadsheet ) (v.2.0c)

Check distance between two stars within 20 light years. Set manual ship speed and also find mission durations.

Try it in Excel

Click to enlarge
Click to open large image


  • Data entry in 6 white cells in Column D
  • 126 Stars are automatically positioned in their real positions, based on Proper Motion and start date.
  • Accuracy ranges can be set.
  • Margin of error in distances between stars shown, based on accuracy settings.
  • Enter custom start dates from Jan 1, 1900 to Dec 31, 9999. Stars automatically track to estimated real positions.
  • Average ship speed can be set.
  • Mission duration in Earth Years shown for each star to star distance based on average ship speed.
  • Sort buttons can sort columns and rows, independently, by Distance or Alpha
  • 6,612 unique star to star data distance blocks in the matrix.

Last updated: August 14, 2020   |