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DS-U2-GK (Kosmos 261) [Yuzhnoye]

The DS-U2-GK satellites were Soviet geophysical research satellites launched as part of the Dnepropetrovsk Sputnik program.

These satellites were used to study the density of air in the upper atmosphere, investigate aurorae and ionospheric plasma motion.

The first satellite of this type, Kosmos 261 was launched on 19 December 1968 on a Kosmos-2 booster from Plesetsk. It decayed from orbit and reentered the atmosphere on 12 February 1969.

The second satellite of this type, Kosmos 262 was launched on 13 June 1970 on a Kosmos-2 booster from Plesetsk. It decayed from orbit within a few weeks of its launch, reentering the atmosphere on 25 July 1970.

Nation: USSR
Type / Application: Science, Magnetosphere
Contractors: Yuzhnoye
Configuration: DS Bus
Power: 4 deployable fixed solar arrays, solar cells, batteries
Lifetime: 40 days (design)
Mass: 347 kg (#1); 357 kg (#2)
Orbit: 201 km × 611 km, 71 (#1); 199 km × 589 km, 71
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Kosmos 261 (DS-U2-GK #1) 1968-117A 19.12.1968 Pl LC-133/1 Kosmos-2
Kosmos 348 (DS-U2-GK #2) 1970-044A 13.06.1970 Pl LC-133/1 Kosmos-2


  • Yuzhnoye: Small unified spacecraft
  • КБ "Южное": Название: Ракеты и космические аппараты Конструкторского бюро "Южное"

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