Kosmos 321


Kosmos 321
Mission typeMagnetospheric
COSPAR ID1970-006A
SATCAT no.04308Edit this on Wikidata
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeDS-U2-MG
Launch mass365 kilograms (805 lb)[1]
Start of mission
Launch date20 January 1970, 20:19:59 (1970-01-20UTC20:19:59Z) UTC
RocketKosmos-2I 63SM
Launch sitePlesetsk 133/1
End of mission
Decay date23 March 1970 (1970-03-24)
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Perigee altitude259 kilometres (161 mi)
Apogee altitude417 kilometres (259 mi)
Inclination70.9 degrees
Period91.3 minutes

Kosmos 321 (Russian: Космос 321 meaning Cosmos 321), also known as DS-U2-MG No.1, was a Soviet satellite which was launched in 1970 as part of the Dnepropetrovsk Sputnik programme. It was a 365-kilogram (805 lb) spacecraft,[1] which was built by the Yuzhnoye Design Bureau, and was used to investigate the magnetic poles of the Earth.[1]


A Kosmos-2I 63SM carrier rocket was used to launch Kosmos 321 into low Earth orbit. The launch took place from Site 133/1 at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome.[2] The launch occurred at 20:19:59 UTC on 20 January 1970, 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 1970-006A.[4] The North American Aerospace Defense Command assigned it the catalogue number 04308.


Kosmos 321 was the first of two DS-U2-MG satellites to be launched, the other being Kosmos 356.[1][5] It was operated in an orbit with a perigee of 259 kilometres (161 mi), an apogee of 417 kilometres (259 mi), 70.9 degrees of inclination, and an orbital period of 91.3 minutes.[6] It completed operations on 13 March 1970,[7] before decaying from orbit and reentering the atmosphere on 23 March.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d Wade, Mark. "DS-U2-MG". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 5 January 2009. Retrieved 26 December 2009.
  2. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 26 December 2009.
  3. ^ Wade, Mark. "Kosmos 2". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 8 July 2012. Retrieved 26 December 2009.
  4. ^ "Cosmos 321". NSSDC Master Catalog. US National Space Science Data Center. Retrieved 26 December 2009.
  5. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "DS-U2-MG". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 26 December 2009.
  6. ^ a b McDowell, Jonathan. "Satellite Catalog". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 26 December 2009.
  7. ^ "World Civil Satellites 1957-2006". Space Security Index. Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2009.