Kosmos 959

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Kosmos 959
Mission type ASAT target
COSPAR ID 1977-101A
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type Lira
Manufacturer Yuzhnoye
Launch mass 650 kilograms (1,430 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date 21 October 1977, 10:05 (1977-10-21UTC10:05Z) UTC
Rocket Kosmos-3M
Launch site Plesetsk 132/1
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth
Perigee 146 kilometres (91 mi)
Apogee 850 kilometres (530 mi)
Inclination 65.8 degrees
Period 94.6 minutes

Kosmos 959 (Russian: Космос 959 meaning Cosmos 959) was a satellite which was used as a target for tests of anti-satellite weapons. It was launched by the Soviet Union in 1977 as part of the Dnepropetrovsk Sputnik programme,[1] and used as a target for Kosmos 961, as part of the Istrebitel Sputnik programme.[2]

It was launched aboard a Kosmos-3M carrier rocket,[3] from Site 132/1 at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome. The launch occurred at 10:05 UTC on 21 October 1977.[4]

Kosmos 959 was placed into a low Earth orbit with a perigee of 146 kilometres (91 mi), an apogee of 850 kilometres (530 mi), 65.8 degrees of inclination, and an orbital period of 94.6 minutes.[1] It was successfully intercepted by Kosmos 961, as part of a non-destructive test. Following this, it decayed from orbit on 30 November 1977.[2][5]

Kosmos 959 was the sixth of ten Lira satellites to be launched,[1] of which all but the first were successful. Lira was derived from the earlier DS-P1-M satellite, which it replaced.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Wade, Mark. "DS-P1-M". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2009-06-03. 
  2. ^ a b Wade, Mark. "IS-A". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2009-06-03. 
  3. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-06-03. 
  4. ^ Wade, Mark. "Kosmos 3". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2009-06-03. 
  5. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Satellite Catalog". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-06-03.