Kosmos 903

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Kosmos 903
Mission type Early warning
COSPAR ID 1977-027A
SATCAT № 9911
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 11 April 1977, 01:38 (1977-04-11UTC01:38Z) UTC
Rocket Molniya-M/2BL[2]
Launch site Plesetsk Cosmodrome[2][3]
End of mission
Deactivated 8 June 1978[1]
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Molniya [2]
Perigee 645 kilometres (401 mi)[4]
Apogee 39,720 kilometres (24,680 mi)[4]
Inclination 62.8 degrees[4]
Period 718.00 minutes[4]

Kosmos 903 (Russian: Космос 903 meaning Cosmos 903) was a Soviet US-K missile early warning satellite which was launched in 1977 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 903 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 01:38 UTC on 11 April 1977.[3] The launch successfully placed the satellite into a molniya orbit. It subsequently received its Kosmos designation, and the international designator 1977-027A.[4] The United States Space Command assigned it the Satellite Catalog Number 9911.[4]

Podvig says that it self-destructed.[1]


  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 McDowell, Jonathan. "Satellite Catalog". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 30 April 2012. 

See also[edit]