Kosmos 501

Kosmos 501 (Russian: Космос 501 meaning Cosmos 501), known before launch as DS-P1-Yu No.50, was a Soviet satellite which was launched in 1972 as part of the Dnepropetrovsk Sputnik programme. It was a 250-kilogram (550 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 501 was successfully launched into low Earth orbit at 05:59:57 UTC on 12 July 1972.[2] The launch took place from Site 86/4 at Kapustin Yar,[3] and used a Kosmos-2I 63SM carrier rocket. It was the last DS-P1-Yu satellite to be launched from Kapustin Yar. Upon reaching orbit, the satellite was assigned its Kosmos designation, and received the International Designator 1972-054A.[4] The North American Aerospace Defense Command assigned it the catalogue number 06099.

Kosmos 501 was the fifty-sixth of seventy nine DS-P1-Yu satellites to be launched,[1] and the fiftieth of seventy two to successfully reach orbit.[5] It was operated in an orbit with a perigee of 215 kilometres (134 mi), an apogee of 2,071 kilometres (1,287 mi), 48.4 degrees of inclination, and an orbital period of 108.2 minutes.[6] It remained in orbit until it decayed and reentered the atmosphere on 9 May 1974.[6]

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