Trailblazer (satellite)

Summary

Trailblazer was a technology demonstration satellite, which was to have been operated by the United States Air Force and the Missile Defense Agency. It was selected for launch under a "Jumpstart" contract, to demonstrate responsiveness, with the final payload being chosen less than a month ahead of the scheduled launch date, and was launched as the primary payload of the third Falcon 1, which failed just over two minutes after launch on 3 August 2008. Two previous Falcon 1 launches also failed to reach orbit, but the fourth succeeded although it only carried a dummy payload.

Trailblazer
Mission typeTechnology demonstration
OperatorUS Air Force
MDA
COSPAR ID2008-F01
Mission durationFailed to orbit
Spacecraft properties
BusMMB-100
ManufacturerSpaceDev
Start of mission
Launch date3 August 2008, 03:34 UTC
RocketFalcon 1 # 3
Launch siteKwajalein Atoll, Omelek
ContractorSpaceX
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit (planned)
RegimeLow Earth orbit
 

It was originally built for a canceled MDA project, and was based on a SpaceDev MMB-100 satellite bus. It was launched from Omelek Island, Kwajalein Atoll at 03:34 UTC. Several other payloads were to be launched aboard the same launch vehicle, including two CubeSats for NASA (PRESat and NanoSail-D), and a space burial (Celestis-07) payload for Celestis, which would have remained attached to the launch vehicle in low Earth orbit.

ReferencesEdit

  • Gunter's Space Page - Trailblazer
  • SpaceX Falcon Rocket: Third Flight the Charm?
  • Trailblazer