Kosmos 259

Kosmos 259 (Russian: Космос 259 meaning Cosmos 259), also known as DS-U2-I No.3, was a Soviet satellite which was launched in 1968 as part of the Dnepropetrovsk Sputnik programme. It was a 325-kilogram (717 lb) spacecraft,[1] which was built by the Yuzhnoye Design Bureau, and was used to study the effects on radio waves of passing through the ionosphere.[1]

A Kosmos-2I 63SM carrier rocket was used to launch Kosmos 259 into low Earth orbit. The launch took place from Site 86/4 at Kapustin Yar.[2] The launch occurred at 05:09:54 UTC on 14 December 1968, and resulted in the successful insertion of the satellite into orbit.[3] Upon reaching orbit, the satellite was assigned its Kosmos designation, and received the International Designator 1968-113A.[4] The North American Aerospace Defense Command assigned it the catalogue number 03612.

Kosmos 259 was the third and final DS-U2-I satellite to be launched.[1][5] It was operated in an orbit with a perigee of 212 kilometres (132 mi), an apogee of 1,210 kilometres (750 mi), 48.4 degrees of inclination, and an orbital period of 99 minutes.[6] On 5 May 1969, it decayed from orbit and reentered the atmosphere.[6]

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