Kosmos 903


Kosmos 903
Mission typeEarly warning
COSPAR ID1977-027A
SATCAT no.9911
Mission duration4 years [1]
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeUS-K [2]
Launch mass1,900 kilograms (4,200 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date11 April 1977, 01:38 (1977-04-11UTC01:38Z) UTC
Launch sitePlesetsk Cosmodrome[2][3]
End of mission
Deactivated8 June 1978[1]
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeMolniya [2]
Perigee altitude645 kilometres (401 mi)[4]
Apogee altitude39,720 kilometres (24,680 mi)[4]
Inclination62.8 degrees[4]
Period718.00 minutes[4]

Kosmos 903 (Russian: Космос 903 meaning Cosmos 903) was a Soviet US-K missile early warning satellite which was launched in 1977 as part of the Soviet military's Oko programme. The satellite was designed to identify missile launches using optical telescopes and infrared sensors.[2]

Kosmos 903 was launched from Site 43/3 at Plesetsk Cosmodrome in the Russian SSR.[3] A Molniya-M carrier rocket with a 2BL upper stage was used to perform the launch, which took place at 01:38 UTC on 11 April 1977.[3] The launch successfully placed the satellite into a molniya orbit. It subsequently received its Kosmos designation, and the international designator 1977-027A.[4] The United States Space Command assigned it the Satellite Catalog Number 9911.[4]

It was reported in History and the Current Status of the Russian Early-Warning System, that it self-destructed.[1]

It re-entered in August 2014.[5]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Podvig, Pavel (2002). "History and the Current Status of the Russian Early-Warning System" (PDF). Science and Global Security. 10: 21–60. CiteSeerX doi:10.1080/08929880212328. ISSN 0892-9882. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 March 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e "US-K (73D6)". Gunter's Space Page. 8 March 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
  3. ^ a b c McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e f McDowell, Jonathan. "Satellite Catalog". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  5. ^ Cosmos 903