Kosmos 461

Kosmos 461 (Russian: Космос 461 meaning Cosmos 461), also known as DS-U2-MT 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 investigate micrometeoroids and conduct gamma ray astronomy.[2]

A Kosmos-3M carrier rocket, serial number 47119-109, was used to launch Kosmos 461 into low Earth orbit. The launch took place from Site 132/1 at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome.[3] The launch occurred at 17:30:00 UTC on 2 December 1971, and resulted in the successful insertion of the satellite into orbit.[4] Upon reaching orbit, the satellite was assigned its Kosmos designation, and received the International Designator 1971-105A.[5] The North American Aerospace Defense Command assigned it the catalogue number 05643.

Kosmos 461 was the only DS-U2-MT satellite to be launched.[2][6] It was operated in an orbit with a perigee of 486 kilometres (302 mi), an apogee of 508 kilometres (316 mi), 69.2 degrees of inclination, and an orbital period of 94.55 minutes.[7] It completed operations on 14 December 1972,[1] before decaying from orbit and reentering the atmosphere on 21 February 1979.[7]

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