Cosmos 557

Cosmos 557

Kosmos 557 (DOS-3)
Salyut programme insignia
Station statistics
Launch11 May 1973
00:20:00 UTC
Launch padLC-81/24, Baikonur Cosmodrome, USSR
Reentry22 May 1973
Mass19,400 kg
Perigee218 km
Apogee266 km
Orbital inclination51.6 degrees
Orbital period89.1 minutes
Days in orbit11 days (22 May 1973)
Days occupied0 days (22 May 1973)
Number of orbits~175 (22 May 1973)
Statistics as of 11 May 1973
(Unless noted otherwise)
The planned orbital configuration of DOS-3.

Kosmos 557 (Russian: Космос 557 meaning Cosmos 557) was the designation given to DOS-3, the third space station in the Salyut program. It was originally intended to be launched as Salyut-3, but due to its failure to achieve orbit on May 11, 1973, three days before the launch of Skylab, it was renamed Kosmos-557.

Due to errors in the flight control system while out of the range of ground control, the station fired its attitude thruster until it consumed all of its attitude control fuel and became uncontrollable before raising its orbit to the desired altitude. Since the spacecraft was already in orbit and had been registered by Western radar, the Soviets disguised the launch as "Kosmos 557" and quietly allowed it to reenter Earth's atmosphere and burn up a week later. It was revealed to have been a Salyut station only much later.


  • Soviet Space Stations as Analogs - NASA report (PDF format)