Buran (spacecraft)


Buran (spacecraft)



caption =Buran on Launch Pad| country =Soviet Union
contract =
named_after = "Snowstorm"cite web | url = http://liftoff.msfc.nasa.gov/rsa/buran.html | title = Buran | publisher = NASA | date = 12 November 1997 | accessdate = 2006-08-15]
first_flight =1K1
first_date =15 November 1988
last_flight =1K1
last_date =15 November 1988
missions =1
crews =0
time =3 hours
orbits =2
distance =
deployed =
dockings_mir =
dockings_iss =
status = Decommissioned,Buran #1 Collapsed due to poor quality.Buran #2 Destroyed in hanger collapse in 2002.Buran #3 On display at the Technikmuseum Speyer of Germany.|

The Buran spacecraft ( _ru. "Буран, "Snowstorm" or "Blizzard"), GRAU index "11F35 K1", was the only fully completed and operational space shuttle vehicle from the Soviet Buran program. With a design that borrowed heavily from the American Space Shuttle, the Buran completed one unmanned spaceflight in 1988 before cancellation of the Soviet shuttle program in 1993. The Buran was subsequently destroyed by a hangar collapse in 2002.

Like its American counterpart, the "Buran", when in transit from its landing sites back to the launch complex, was transported on the back of a large jet aeroplane. It was piggy-backed on the Antonov An-225 Mriya aircraft, which was designed for this task and remains the largest aircraft in the world.

Several shuttles were produced, one of those, the OK-GLI was modified to fly with jet engines for aerodynamic testing. One painted mock shuttle (the former static test-article OK-TVA) is now a ride simulating space flight in Gorky Park, Moscow. The OK-GLI was sold by its owner NPO Energia, shipped to Sydney in Australia and subsequently displayed at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Shortly after, the new owner went bankrupt and the OK-GLI shuttle then went to Bahrain for a number of years while legal ownership status was in dispute. The Sydney/Bahrain (OK-GLI) shuttle was acquired by the German Technikmuseum Speyer in 2004, [http://www.technik-museum.de/buran/] and has been transported to the museum, where it is exhibited to the general public.

First flight

The first and only orbital launch of the (unmanned) shuttle "Buran" 1.01 occurred at 3:00 UTC on 15 November 1988. It was lifted into orbit by the specially designed Energia booster rocket. The life support system was partially installed and no software was installed to run the computer display screens.

The shuttle orbited the Earth twice in 206 minutes of flight.cite book | first = Boris | last = Chertok | editor = Asif A. Siddiqi | title = Raketi i lyudi (trans. "Rockets and People") | publisher = NASA History Series | url = http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20050010181_2005010059.pdf | format = PDF | pages = 179 | year = 2005 | accessdate = 2006-07-03] On its return, it performed an automated landing on the shuttle runway at Baikonur Cosmodrome, where despite a lateral wind speed of 17 metres/second it made a successful landing only 3 metres laterally and 10 metres longitudinally from the target.

Video

Part of the launch was televised, but the actual lift-off was not shown. This led to some speculation that the mission may have been fabricated, and that the subsequent landing may not have been from orbit but from a shuttle-carrying aircraft, as with the Space Shuttle "Enterprise". Since then, the launch video has been released to the public, confirming that the shuttle did indeed lift off, with the poor weather conditions described by the Soviet media at the time easily seen.cite web | url = http://www.vunet.org/videos/story-170.html | title = Video: Soviet Shuttle Buran Launch | publisher = vunet.ru | accessdate = 2006-09-13]

Projected flights

In 1989, it was projected that "Buran" would have an unmanned second flight in 1993, with a duration of 15–20 days.cite web | url = http://www.buran.ru/htm/pilots.htm | title = Экипажи "Бурана" Несбывшиеся планы. | publisher = buran.ru | accessdate = 2006-08-05 ru icon] Due to the cancellation of the project, this never took place.

Destruction

On May 12, 2002, a hangar housing a "Buran" 1.01 orbiter (the actual "Buran" that flew in 1988) collapsed due to poor maintenance. The collapse killed eight workers and destroyed the orbiter as well as a mock-up of an Energia booster rocket. [ cite news | publisher=BBC | title=Russia's space dreams abandoned | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/1985631.stm | work=bbc.co.uk | accessdate=2007-11-14 | date=2002-05-13 | last=Whitehouse | first=David ] ;Photos
* [http://www.buran.ru/images/jpg/bbur89.jpgPhoto of collapsed hangar]
* [http://www.buran.ru/images/jpg/bbur90.jpgRemains of Buran photo] . The Buran's right front windshield is still visible under the debris.

See also

* DRAKON

References

Further reading

* Energiya-Buran: The Soviet Space Shuttle, Bart Hendrick and Bert Vis, Springer-Praxis, 2007, pp526, ISBN: 978-0-387-69848-9.
* Heinz Elser, Margrit Elser-Haft, Vladim Lukashevich: "Buran - History and Transportation of the Russian Space shuttle OK-GLI to the Technik Museum Speyer", two Languages: German and Englisch, 2008, ISBN 3-9809437-7-1

External links

* Manufacturer's site about Buran space shuttle, [http://www.buran.ru buran.ru] .
* Manufacturer - [http://www.buran.ru/htm/molniya.htm NPO MOLNIYA Research and Industrial Corporation] .
* [http://www.buran.ru/htm/foto2.htm Buran historical photos at NPO MOLNIYA] (buran.ru) with comments in Russian.
* [http://www.buran.ru/htm/video.htm Buran video archive at NPO MOLNIYA] with comments in Russian.
* [http://www.buran-energia.com/bourane-buran/bourane-desc.php Enthusiast site about Buran space shuttle]
* [http://www.spaceistheplace.ca/start1.mpg Buran's first flight, lift-off video]
* [http://english.pravda.ru/photo/report/gun-1202 Buran photo report at Pravda.ru]
* [http://www.buran.fr/bourane-buran/img/plan-wire-grand.jpgTechnical Drawing of the Buran]
* [http://englishrussia.com/?p=1362 Historical photos at englishrussia.com]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRXNcQ8q3cA Video: Buran piggyback on AN-225 Test Flight]


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