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Kosmos 459

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Title: Kosmos 459  
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Subject: 1971 in spaceflight
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Kosmos 459

Kosmos 459 (Russian: Космос 459 meaning Cosmos 459), also known as DS-P1-M No.5 was a satellite which was used as a target for tests of anti-satellite weapons. It was launched by the Soviet Union in 1971 as part of the Dnepropetrovsk Sputnik programme,[1] and used as a target for Kosmos 462, 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 17:30:00 UTC on 29 November 1971.[4]

Kosmos 459 was placed into a low Earth orbit with a perigee of 199 kilometres (124 mi), an apogee of 286 kilometres (178 mi), 65 degrees of inclination, and an orbital period of 89.4 minutes.[1] It was successfully intercepted and destroyed by Kosmos 462. Two major pieces of debris were associated with the satellite, which decayed from orbit on 1 and 7 December 1971.[2][5]

Kosmos 459 was the fourth of the five original DS-P1-M satellites to be launched,[1] of which all but the first successfully reached orbit. After the five initial launches the DS-P1-M satellite was replaced with a derivative, Lira. The interception of Kosmos 459 was the last completed test of the IS-A interceptor as part of Soviet state trials, and the last attempt to intercept a baseline DS-P1-M satellite as no attempt was made to intercept Kosmos 521. Following the test, the IS-A anti-satellite system was declared operational.[6]

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