The Second Chance For Buran

The Second Chance For Buran

After several years of rotting in the open air on docks in Tushino, the spacecraft Buran will be restored, then demonstrated at the air show MAKS-2013. Recently the “Buran” was brought from Tushino to Zhukovsky, where it will be restored and displayed. So let’s look at the pride of the Soviet space industry.

The Second Chance For Buran

The spacecraft fuselage, its wings, fin, landing gear and other details were loaded onto a barge.

The Second Chance For Buran

Preparations for the move took about three months. This time includes the waiting for locks to start operating.

The Second Chance For Buran

According to the plan of designers the Buran would fly into space, but due to the suspension of funding of the program “Energy – Buran”, the spaceship was not completed. It was assembled at the Tushino engineering plant, and only 30-50 % of the work were done. In October, 2004 the unfinished ship was transported from the factory to the mooring, which also belonged to the plant. There was no canopy over the vessel.

The Second Chance For Buran

It arrived to Zhukovsky in such condition.

The Second Chance For Buran

The Second Chance For Buran

By the way, on the waterfront in the Park of Culture there is not a real Buran, but a model for static tests.

The Second Chance For Buran

Burans were made at the Tushino engineering plant, then they were carried out to a nearby water reservoir and from there rafted along the Moscow river to Zhukovsky. An airplane “Atlas” transported the Buran from Zhukovsky to Baikonur. The first and the only flight of the Buran was made ​in November, 1988. In 1990 works on the program were suspended, in 1993 – were finally cut down.

The Second Chance For Buran

The Second Chance For Buran

The Second Chance For Buran

The Second Chance For Buran

The Second Chance For Buran

Practically all expensive thermal protection tiles were taken for souvenirs.

The Second Chance For Buran

The Second Chance For Buran

One of pieces left by vandals. A thin ceramic layer is on top.

The Second Chance For Buran

The landing gear.

The Second Chance For Buran

The Second Chance For Buran

The Second Chance For Buran

There is almost nothing inside.

The Second Chance For Buran

The Second Chance For Buran

The Second Chance For Buran

A cabin.

The Second Chance For Buran

By the time of closing of the program, five flying spacecraft Buran had already been built or were under construction. According to one version in the museum there is the product 1.02 Buria, that was going to make a second flight in the automatic mode with a docking together with the manned space station “Mir”. According to another version there is only a mockup in the museum.

The Second Chance For Buran

The Buran, which flew into space died in Baikonur. At 9:20 am, May 12, 2002 the crashed roof buried the only Soviet vessel  Buran, that rose to space, its carrier rocket “Energia” and eight people. The cause of the roof collapse of the assembly and test building in Baikonur could be tons of water accumulated on it and tons of construction materials brought there. A restoring of the building is not planned.

The Second Chance For Buran

The Second Chance For Buran

The Second Chance For Buran

via zyalt

49 thoughts on “The Second Chance For Buran”

  1. WHat a hunk of junk this thing has become. Inside it looks like it was somthing from WW2. Outside it looks like a junk yard wars project. Was this thing ever in space?

    PS Obvious rip off of the US space shuttlle

  2. A. Bunka here. Yeah, it’s junk.

    How come the US has a five year wait in between manned rocket flights? NASA didn’t see a replacement for the shuttle coming? Or did they just hope to get all new hardware? which didn’t happen.
    Now Americans must fly on Soyuz to get into space.

    • The U.S. is in a “scientific sunset” with the anti-intellectuals holding the majority of power in government. The “down” cycle started in 1980.

    • you should have more respect for that piece of junk, and maybe you have a point, why restore it?
      Buld a new one and fly it to space!! It would be a great cotribution for our future in space

    • Typical US point of view: Only new and shiny is worth having or can be used for anything, everything else is ‘junk’.

      You simply cannot comprehend the difference between ‘junk’ and ‘half-ready’. Not really a surprise.

      I see that at least half of the work to make a operating Buran is already done. And as a mechanical engineer I know that it takes a huge amount of work to get it as far it is now. Stuff you so easily call ‘junk’. Clueless, eh?

      Buran uses totally different technology than US used so it’s not a rip-off: Same technical problems tend to produce similar solutions and either you’ve no clue about technology or you are just a troll.

      To me it looks like there’s a lot of US school kids commenting here, general cluelessness is hurting my eyes.

  3. it’s still a viable design, it never got the chance it deserved. I would love to see it do more than just an airshow. With the American space shuttle program over, and with the russians STILL struggling to replace Soyuz with a new design, maybe a revived Buran program would benefit everyone with a new platform for space travel.

  4. Okay, restore the Buran. Now how about the system of government (but improved upon) under which it was developed?

  5. This is a peace of history i do wish it gets restored this is the only one that accualy went into space and came back. Wish that building woudnt have colapsed on it.

  6. Dear Russia, I tell you what happened: the Columbia wasn’t destroyed by foam but had structural and metal fatigue.
    Italian engeneers saw that problem and reported it to NASA for a red flag = No Go
    The NASA fired those 2 chief engeneers and they reported the story to the RAI = RadioTelevisione Italiana
    We saw the whole fact on the TG1 is italian news from the Rai
    The jewish astronaught made a lil film and the fuselage and wings had craks.
    But a few weeks later, no one talked about it anymore, and filled our head with the american story FOAM

    • No other Space Shuttle seems to have suffered from any form of metal fatigue. Perhaps the Italian news reports you saw were wrong?

      It’s a fact that NASA’s Space Shuttles have aluminium alloy airframes. This is protected from the extreme heat of re-entry by a thin layer of reinforced carbon-carbon composite on the leading edge of the wings.

      Damage to this area permitted hot fluid (plasma or hot gas) to enter the wing interior, which softened and melted the wing frame itself.

      NASA guarded against a repeat of that problem and successfully operated the Space Shuttle without further accidents.

      Why look for a conspiracy?

      • The Italian news relieved the film made by the Jewish astronaught, may he rest in peace with the other crewmembers.
        The Rai is a serious channel when it comes to news, unlike your fox
        If your head is filled with foam , so be it, I didn’t talk about conspiracy, but a cover up!
        The Italian chief engeneers talked about the cracks in the alloy, they knew it could be fatal
        So if the heat shield was damaged, why did they grounded all shuttle’s for ever?

        Because they are all full of cracks, that’s why!!
        metal fatigue!! every plane , car with monococque will suffer from it after decades

  7. This is so fu#%ing typical of my country. This “piece of junk” went to space. Even without tripulation. And look at it now 🙁

  8. As noted in the article, this is not the actual “Buran” that went into space as that was destroyed in the 2002 hanger collapse. This particular craft is one of three shuttles that were partially completed when the Soviet shuttle program was shut down.

    As for the US program, there was supposed to be a traditional rocket based replacement for the shuttles ready to go by now but that program is behind schedule, hence the lack of any human launch capability for the next few years. Obviously politics could delay things further if budget choices go against funding plans.

    Meanwhile, there has been talk that the Russians may revisit the shuttle idea in the future, and the decision to restore the incomplete craft in this article could be part of plans to build up public support for the idea.

      • Australia had a space program launching the WRESAT from Woomera in 1967 (on a rocket donated by the Americans) which made us the seventh country to put a satellite into space.
        The Buran needed the Energia booster (roughly the size and shape of the US shuttle fuel tank) to push it into space – it had no rockets of it’s own. It’s no more useful a base for space exploration than a second-hand Apollo capsule.
        That said, it would be cool if Australia decided to explore the Project Babylon/Gerald Bull space exploration idea.

        • Buran had rockets so that it could manoeuvre in orbit and re-enter, just like NASA’s Space Shuttle. Buran would have been as useful in space as the US Space Shuttle. In one sense, Buran was technically superior since it was designed to fly on auto-pilot and remote control: the US Space Shuttle required a pilot.

          The idea that a huge automated space-going cargo carrier like Buran capable of gliding a long way on re-entry and landing, the idea that’d be no more use than an Apollo capsule is absurd ignorance.

          The US Space Shuttle required solid fuel boosters to get it into orbit: its main engines weren’t able to manage the job on their own.

          Solid fuel rockets are very dangerous, as was demonstrated when Challenger was destroyed. The USSR did not make the same fundamental error when designing Buran: the USSR had the advantage of better competition in its aerospace industry, while the USA suffered (and still suffers) from `pork barrel’ politics that require federal tax dollars to be supplied to the companies that support the politicians in power. So the firm that made big solid fuel rockets just had to get Space Shuttle work…

          btw, the USSR did not copy the Space Shuttle. It developed its own version, as it did with almost all its aerospace technology: certainly inspired by Western developments, probably informed by industrial espionage at least with respect to sub-systems, but definitely a 100% Soviet effort.

          The only direct copy was when they copied a Boeing B-29 Super Fortress, and called it the Tupolev Tu-4.

  9. Er, regarding the comment in the article, “Buran, that rose to space, its carrier rocket “Energia” and eight people.” .. I hope this is simply poor English. It didn’t carry eight people. It was unmanned. Did the author meant to say it was designed to be able to carry eight people?

  10. The Italian news relieved the film made by the Jewish astronaught, may he rest in peace with the other crewmembers.
    The Rai is a serious channel when it comes to news, unlike your fox
    If your head is filled with foam , so be it, I didn’t talk about conspiracy, but a cover up!
    The Italian chief engeneers talked about the cracks in the alloy, they knew it could be fatal
    So if the heat shield was damaged, why did they grounded all shuttle’s for ever?

    Because they are all full of cracks, that’s why!!
    metal fatigue!! every plane , car with monococque will suffer from it after decades
    The foam slapping into the wing wasn’t that hard because the foam that ripped loose was travelling almost the same speed (-airfriction) of the attached shuttle, simple rules of inertia

  11. If you want a spacecraft that will carry people and cargo into space and then return and land like an airplane, they are going to all have similar characteristics. This Buran looks as if it would have carried twice as much as a Space Shuttle, so it’s a shame, but on the other hand, the space shuttle program was horrendously expensive, so I’m not surprised that Buran had to be killed as well. There are cheaper ways to put things in orbit.

  12. If Barack Obama had his way this is what NASA would look like today – just junk rotting on a barge. Our space program is but one of the very important components that made our nation great and bound us together as American citizens. But every day we slip further away from the constitution and the unity our founders created to protect liberty and freedom and I fear we’ve let the politicians go so far that we may never recover from the damage that has been done.

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