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TrailBlazer 2001

TrailBlazer 2001 [TransOrbital]

TrailBlazer 2001 was to be the first commercial lunar mission.

The TrailBlazer spacecraft was to be a multi-purpose spacecraft bus designed for missions beyond geosynchronous orbit. It is a microspacecraft, massing approximately 100 kg fueled - not including the solid-fuel Lunar Trans-Lunar Injection (TLI) Star-20 kick motor. The basic bus was to contain the following features:

  • On-board mono-propellant maneuvering and attitude-control thrusters
  • Redundant flight control computers
  • Sun angle, Earth/Moon horizon, and star-field navigation and attitude-control sensors
  • Inertial Measurement Unit for attitude sensing and control
  • S-Band communications link
  • Photovoltaic cells and batteries to provide power.

For the inaugural TrailBlazer lunar imaging mission the bus was to carry the following equipment:

  • Two high-resolution video cameras and lenses: 
    - one medium field-of-view (FOV) for lunar surface mapping and 
    - one narrow FOV camera for high-resolution imaging of specific targets.
  • A high data-rate X-band transmitter with a narrow-beam parabolic antenna.

A mass model (TrailBlazer-2001-Dummy) was launched in 2002 to test the launch dynamics. Apparently the project did not move forward and is now unlikely to take place.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Lunar orbiter
Operator: TransOrbital, Inc.
Contractors: TransOrbital, Inc.
Equipment:
Configuration: TrailBlazer Bus
Propulsion: ?
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Lifetime:
Mass: 100 kg
Orbit: lunar orbit
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
TrailBlazer 2001 - cancelled Ba LC-109/95 Dnepr [Star-20]

References: