Trailblazer (satellite)


Mission typeTechnology
OperatorUS Air Force
Mission durationFailed to orbit
Spacecraft properties
Start of mission
Launch date3 August 2008, 03:34 (2008-08-03UTC03:34) UTC
RocketFalcon 1
Launch siteOmelek
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth

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.

It was originally built for a cancelled MDA project, and was based on a SpaceDev MMB-100 satellite bus. It was launched from Omelek Island, at 03:34 GMT. Several other payloads were to be launched aboard the same rocket, including two CubeSats for NASA, and a space burial payload for Celestis, which would have remained attached to the rocket in low Earth orbit.


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