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Trailblazer (satellite)

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Title: Trailblazer (satellite)  
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Subject: List of Falcon 1 launches, NanoSail-D, Falcon 1, Spaceflight/On This Day/3 August, Dragon Spacecraft Qualification Unit
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Trailblazer (satellite)

Mission type Technology
Operator US Air Force
Mission duration Failed to orbit
Spacecraft properties
Bus MMB-100
Manufacturer SpaceDev
Start of mission
Launch date 3 August 2008, 03:34 (2008-08-03T03:34) UTC
Rocket Falcon 1
Launch site Omelek
Contractor SpaceX
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth
Epoch Planned

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
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