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Cosmos 1241



Cosmos 1241 was a Soviet satellite launched from the Plesetsk cosmodrome aboard a Kosmos rocket. It was an ASAT (anti-satellite) target for the Cosmos 1243 and 1258 interceptors. It was part of a series of tests to validate functioning of system after extended storage.

It was designated the IS ("Istrebitel Sputnikov", fighter satellite). The orbital parameters of the target satellite would already be known before launch, and the interceptor would be pre-programmed with those parameters. After being placed into an initial parking orbit by the launch vehicle, the interceptor's engine would make a number of manoeuvres to intercept with the target, and at the appropriate moment, blow itself up together with the target. The interception was intended to take place on the first to third orbit, although it would be possible to make repeated attempts in case the target was missed.

The Istrebitel Sputnikov was approximately spherical in form and had a total mass of 1,400 kg. It consisted of two sections: the main section, which contained the guidance and targeting, computational and optical homing systems, and the 300 kg explosive charge; and the engine section. The body of the interceptor was designed so that after the explosion it would fragment into 12 groups of shrapnel. The specified radius of guaranteed target destruction was 1 km. However in a head-on intercept, only 400 m radius was guaranteed, while in a chase intercept, a 2 km radius of destruction could be achieved. The engine was capable of numerous quick starts and restarts, with a total operating time of 300 seconds.

Alternate Names

  • 12149
  • Cosmos1241

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1981-01-21
Launch Vehicle: Modified SS-5 (SKean IRBM) plus Upper Stage
Launch Site: Plesetsk, U.S.S.R
Mass: 650 kg

Funding Agency

  • Unknown (U.S.S.R)


  • Surveillance and Other Military

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

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