Kosmos 1171 was placed into a low Earth orbit with a perigee of 969 kilometres (602 mi), an apogee of 1,001 kilometres (622 mi), 65.8 degrees of inclination, and an orbital period of 104.8 minutes. It was to have been intercepted by Kosmos 1174 on 18 April, however the interceptor malfunctioned and missed the target. Two further attempts over the next two days also failed, before the interceptor was commanded to self-destruct. As of 2009, Kosmos 1171 is still in orbit.
Kosmos 1171 was the eighth of ten Lira satellites to be launched, of which all but the first were successful. Lira was derived from the earlier DS-P1-M satellite, which it replaced.
Payloads are separated by bullets ( · ), launches by pipes ( | ). Manned flights are indicated in bold text. Uncatalogued launch failures are listed in italics. Payloads deployed from other spacecraft are denoted in (brackets).