Space Shuttle Buran

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OK-1K1 at the 1989 Paris Air Show

Space Shuttle Buran (OK-1K1) was the first space shuttle run by Soviet Union. It flew one unmanned flight before being retired and was destroyed in a hangar collapse in 2002.

History[change | change source]

The Buran was created in 1984. The first flight was a uncrewed orbital flight on November 15, 1988. There was also a plan for second flight of Buran. However, it never took place due to dissolution of Soviet Union. On May 12, 2002, the hangar where was stored the shuttle, was collapsed due to poor maintenance. The collapse not only killed the eight workers, it completely destroyed the shuttle and the rocket.

Parts of the Buran[change | change source]

OK-GLI at the Technik Space Museum

The Buran was made up of 3 parts. These were the orbiter, the core tank and liquid rocket boosters.

The orbiter was shaped like a large airplane with wings and a tail. This would allow the shuttle to fly and land on a runway. Unlike NASA's Space Shuttle, the Buran had 4 jet engines. Many spacecraft which came before the Buran, like the Vostok, Voskhod and Soyuz used parachutes when landing, and landed on the land.

The shuttle would launch out of Earth's gravity and into space by 4 RD-120 rocket engines on the back of the core tank along with help from 4 RD-170 rocket engines attached on the back of the 4 liquid rocket boosters.