Kosmos 1278

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Kosmos 1278
Mission type Early warning
COSPAR ID 1981-058A
SATCAT № 12547
Mission duration 4 years [1]
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type US-K [2]
Launch mass 1,900 kilograms (4,200 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date 19 June 1981, 19:37 (1981-06-19UTC19:37Z) UTC
Rocket Molniya-M/2BL[2]
Launch site Plesetsk Cosmodrome[2][3]
End of mission
Deactivated 5 July 1984[1]
Decay date 2 September 2000 (2000-09-03)[4]
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Molniya [2]
Perigee 665 kilometres (413 mi)[4]
Apogee 39,725 kilometres (24,684 mi)[4]
Inclination 62.8 degrees[4]
Period 718.49 minutes[4]

Kosmos 1278 (Russian: Космос 1278 meaning Cosmos 1278) was a Soviet US-K missile early warning satellite which was launched in 1981 as part of the Soviet military's Oko programme. The satellite was designed to identify missile launches using optical telescopes and infrared sensors.[2]

Kosmos 1278 was launched from Site 43/3 at Plesetsk Cosmodrome in the Russian SSR.[3] A Molniya-M carrier rocket with a 2BL upper stage was used to perform the launch, which took place at 19:37 UTC on 19 June 1981.[3] The launch successfully placed the satellite into a molniya orbit. It subsequently received its Kosmos designation, and the international designator 1981-058A.[4] The United States Space Command assigned it the Satellite Catalog Number 12547.[4]

It self-destructed in December 1986 [1] and re-entered the Earth's atmosphere on 2 September 2000.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Podvig, Pavel (2002). "History and the Current Status of the Russian Early-Warning System" (pdf). Science and Global Security 10: 21–60. doi:10.1080/08929880212328. ISSN 0892-9882. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "US-K (73D6)". Gunter's Space Page. 2012-03-08. Retrieved 2012-04-21. 
  3. ^ a b c McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 2 May 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h McDowell, Jonathan. "Satellite Catalog". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 30 April 2012.