Kosmos 481

Kosmos 481 (Russian: Космос 481 meaning Cosmos 481), known before launch as DS-P1-Yu No.46, was a Soviet satellite which was launched in 1972 as part of the Dnepropetrovsk Sputnik programme. It was a 375-kilogram (827 lb) spacecraft, which was built by the Yuzhnoye Design Bureau, and was used as a radar calibration target for anti-ballistic missile tests.[1]

Kosmos 481 was successfully launched into low Earth orbit at 10:39:59 UTC on 25 March 1972.[2] The launch took place from Site 133/1 at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome,[3] and used a Kosmos-2I 63SM carrier rocket. Upon reaching orbit, it was assigned its Kosmos designation, and received the International Designator 1972-020A.[4] The North American Aerospace Defense Command assigned it the catalogue number 05906.

Kosmos 481 was the fifty-first of seventy nine DS-P1-Yu satellites to be launched,[1] and the forty-sixth of seventy two to successfully reach orbit.[5] It was operated in an orbit with a perigee of 262 kilometres (163 mi), an apogee of 478 kilometres (297 mi), 71 degrees of inclination, and an orbital period of 92 minutes.[1][6] It remained in orbit until it decayed and reentered the atmosphere on 2 September 1972.[6]

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