Kosmos 257

Kosmos 257 (Russian: Космос 257 meaning Cosmos 257), known before launch as DS-P1-Yu No.17, was a Soviet satellite which was used as a radar calibration target for tests of anti-ballistic missiles. It was built by the Yuzhnoye Design Bureau, and launched in 1968 as part of the Dnepropetrovsk Sputnik programme.[1] It had a mass of 325 kilograms (717 lb).[1]

Kosmos 257 was launched from Site 133/1 at Plesetsk,[2] atop a Kosmos-2I 63SM carrier rocket. The launch occurred on 3 December 1968 at 14:52:21 UTC, and resulted in Kosmos 257's successful deployment into low Earth orbit.[3] Upon reaching orbit, it was assigned its Kosmos designation, and received the International Designator 1968-107A.

Kosmos 257 was operated in an orbit with a perigee of 261 kilometres (162 mi), an apogee of 396 kilometres (246 mi), 70.9 degrees of inclination, and an orbital period of 91.10 minutes.[1][4] It remained in orbit until it decayed and reentered the atmosphere on 5 March 1969.[4] It was the seventeenth of seventy nine DS-P1-Yu satellites to be launched,[1] and the sixteenth of seventy two to successfully reach orbit.[5]

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