At least one western pilot (Jean-Loup Chrétien) trained to pilot the Buran.

Did any other non-soviet pilots train for this shuttle?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ That is a fascinating fact! Do you have a reference, I'd love to read more. I worked with Jean-Loup, I wish I had asked him about this! $\endgroup$ Mar 13, 2017 at 14:54
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    $\begingroup$ It's listed e.g. in jsc.nasa.gov/history/oral_histories/ChretienJL/… Lists like en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buran_programme#Flight_crew_preparation don't mention him though. $\endgroup$
    – Hobbes
    Mar 13, 2017 at 15:33
  • $\begingroup$ @Hobbes that oral history link was great. Thanks. $\endgroup$ Mar 13, 2017 at 16:45
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    $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble m.youtube.com/watch?v=fRjKKfzdRlo sorry it's a French documentary. You can see him flying a mig with air brakes and gear down to simulate the Buran approach. $\endgroup$
    – Antzi
    Mar 14, 2017 at 2:04
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    $\begingroup$ They still have the Buran simulator in the ISS mockup hall in Star City, I saw it when I visited. If I were a millionaire I could probably get them to train me in it... $\endgroup$
    – TeslaK20
    Aug 6, 2018 at 12:00

2 Answers 2


According to the info from http://www.buran.ru/htm/pilots.htm, only four Frenchman were trained for Buran.

  • Jean-Loup Chrétien
  • Michel Tognini

During his stay in Russia, Tognini also gained piloting experience of BURAN simulators (MiG-25, Tupolev 154). (c) Wikipedia

  • Philippe Perrin
  • Benoit Silve
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting. Chrétien, Perrin, and Tognini would go on to fly on the Shuttle. $\endgroup$ Apr 12, 2018 at 12:39
  • $\begingroup$ So no western non french mens ? $\endgroup$
    – Antzi
    Apr 12, 2018 at 12:50

From the book Energiya-Buran; the Soviet Space Shuttle (by Hendrickx and Vis) (page 222):

Finally, in the early 1990s French 'spationauts' Jean-Loup Chrétien, Michel Tognini, and Leopold Eyharts flew both the Tupolev Tu-154LL and MiG-25 Buran training aircraft in preparation for the European Hermes spaceplane program. There are no indications that they were considered to fly aboard Buran itself.

No other non-Soviets are listed as Buran candidates in this book.

  • $\begingroup$ Eyharts also flew on the Shuttle. Buran training seems like a good career move. $\endgroup$ Aug 5, 2018 at 13:51

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