Image Courtesy Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)
Russia plans to reassert itself as a major power in space by resurrecting the Buran space shuttle, a relic of the Soviet era. It will pay for the development programme in part by taking more space tourists like Dennis Tito up to the space station.Secrets revealed
Russia's other state space company, Khrunichev, is a rival to Energia, but its director Alexander Kondratiev says he welcomes any opportunity for Russian space engineers to compete with the West on an equal footing.
"Until 1990 we couldn't tell anyone what we were doing. But now we can show the world our worth," he says.
Ironically, the money for Buran's revival will be coming from the West. In the past 17 months, Russian Protons have launched 17 commercial satellites, earning Russia more than $100 million per launch.
And despite NASA's opposition, Gurushkin says Russian flights to the space station will soon carry more space tourists. "We already have many applications. We are currently considering them all and will take whoever pays most," he says.
"No Russian Shuttle eh? What I want to know is... WHO took this photo?" - Jack Arneson
The End of Buran?
During a storm the rooh of the Energia Hanger that was housing the Shuttle Buran collapsed, destroying the shuttle. There were many unconfirmed rumors that the craft was sold to the Chinese
Here is a
video about the collapse..
Hanger showing collapsed roof
Shuttle sitting on Deck
Take a trip of Baikonur space port these days and the static test Buran OK-ML-1 is, in all likelihood, one of the first things you'll see... Sitting peacefully between two small hills, doing not much at all, this static test Buran could easily be mistaken for one of the three space flight capable Burans. OK-M is, however, not a space Buran at all, instead it's but a humble mock-up tester.
This ageing static test Buran began its life in Moscow as OK-M. OK-M, in addition to serving as a parts tester, was also used in normal temperature static loads tests, to determine the eventual space capable Buran obiter's moment of inertia, and to test payload mass mock-ups. After this work was completed it was redesignated OK-ML-1 and flown to Baikonur on the 3M-T and used for interface tests (horizontal and vertical) with the launch vehicle.
In the original program plan, OK-ML-1 would have been expended on the first launch of the Energia, remaining attached to the core and eventually burning up in the atmosphere. For a long time OK-ML-1 sat in the MIK Building. Eventually though she was moved outside when the room was needed by Starsem operations.
OK-ML-1, hence, ended her days at the test firing pad, near Area 254 at Baikonur. There she still lies today, exposed to the elements and the visits of the local school children. There are plans to eventually preserve her as a museum exhibit. Baikon
So what really happened to the Buran?
How many Buran’s were there? ...A lot!
In this section we will give you a low-down on the current state of each of the orbiters. Five space capable orbiters were planned, two were completed (one of which was destroyed in a hangar collapse in 2002 at Baikonur), three were left unfinished when the program ran out of funding. Ontop of this there were 8 test Burans built, including the jet engine enabled aero flight tester OK-GLI.
This orbiter status information has been very difficult to compile, if you have some new information or if you have found an error than please email me. Simply click on a orbiter below to get the low-down on where they are now!
How many Burans were built?
Five space Burans were completed or under construction when the program was halted. One, article 1.01, better known as 'Buran' was finished and flew in space, a second was virtually finished but had it's flight scrubbed, the remainder were left unfinished at the factory and either abandoned or dismantled.
Was the Space Buran 1.01 destroyed in the hangar collapse at Baikonur in 2002?
Yes it was, as was the Energia mockup it sat upon. As such there is now only one space capable Buran at Baikonur, that being Buran 1.02.
So what’s the status of Buran 1.02 then?
Check my Orbiter Status pages to find out. Overall Buran 1.02 is notoriously difficult to photograph or pinpoint its exact location.
What are the names of the five intended space shuttles?
1.01 = Buran (Snowstorm/Blizzard)
Is the Buran that was on display in Sydney a real space Buran?
No, it is the aerodynamic tester Buran OK-GLI. It never flew in space nor was it designed to. It was, however, used to conduct tests on the automatic landing system for the eventual space orbiters, as such it flew in the low atmosphere. That's what it needed the engines for - so that it could get up to a height of around 5000 metres and practice landing approaches. It’s back in Moscow now btw.
How many full size tester Burans were built?
Eight - seven static and one flight tester (OK-GLI (BST-02)).
Russian Space Shuttle Buran Transported
Buran OK-GLI Aerodynamic Tester
By M&C News Apr 8, 2008, 16:08 GMT
Russian space shuttle Buran is transported across the river Rhine on a barge at Wesel, Germany, 07 April 2008. After being shipped from Australia via Bahrain to Rotterdam it now had to cross the River Rhine in order to reach its final destination, the Museum of Technology in Speyer. EPA/ROLAND WEIHRAUCH
A helicopter flies over Russian space shuttle 'Buran' as it is moved by a barge across the river Rhine in Duesseldorf, western Germany, 08 April 2008. The spacecraft is too unwieldy to be transported in any other way. The Russian shuttle, which orbited the earth twice during its working life, will become the world's first genuine space shuttle to go on view to the general public at the technical museum in Speyer. EPA/MARTIN GERTEN
Buran OK-TVA - by Alexei Gretchikhine - Russian Aviation Page, 1997
+26° 11' 54.03", +50° 36' 8.74"
in several pieces on the quayside in Al Juffayr’ Bahrain 2002-2004
odyssey of OK-GLI
The atmospheric test model of the Russian shuttle, Buran-Analogue 002/OK-GLI/2M (mounted with four jet engines), built in 1984, endured a protracted journey on Earth after it was retired in 1988! First it was offered for sale on the Internet but no buyers were found (fortunately – it should have been preserved as a historical artifact!).
thread about Buran, including films, status and
List of “Burans”:
(not space ready);
Buran! A marvelous machine!
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