Kosmos 426

Kosmos 426 (Russian: Космос 426 meaning Cosmos 426), also known as DS-U2-K No.1, was a Soviet satellite which was launched in 1971 as part of the Dnepropetrovsk Sputnik programme. It was a 680-kilogram (1,500 lb) spacecraft,[1] which was built by the Yuzhnoye Design Bureau, and was used to study charged particles and radiation in the Earth's magnetosphere.[1]

A Kosmos-3M carrier rocket, with serial number 65014-101, was used to launch Kosmos 426 into low Earth orbit.[2] The launch took place from Site 132/2 at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome.[2] The launch occurred at 18:10:00 UTC on 4 June 1971, 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 1971-052A.[4] The North American Aerospace Defense Command assigned it the catalogue number 05281.

Kosmos 426 was the only DS-U2-K satellite to be launched.[1][5] It was operated in an orbit with a perigee of 388 kilometres (241 mi), an apogee of 1,993 kilometres (1,238 mi), 74 degrees of inclination, and an orbital period of 109.2 minutes.[6] It was operated until 12 January 1972,[7] and subsequently remained in orbit until it decayed and reentered the atmosphere on 11 May 2002.[6]

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