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18

Buran and the Space Shuttle will not fly again. Both projects have ended, and the orbiters have gone to museums (or have been destroyed). Reactivating these programs would be enormously expensive at this point. The Shuttle showed that a spaceplane has some disadvantages. It turned out to be really expensive to refurbish the spacecraft for each flight. ...


17

It was done horizontally, in a separate building called MIK-112 (MIK is translated as ‘assembly and testing building’) See more details and photos here: http://www.russianspaceweb.com/baikonur_energia_112.html


15

You see 3 types of engines: four jet engines for test flights, two outboard of the RCS (with afterburners) and two flanking the tailplane (without afterburners). Identical engines, different exhaust configuration. Only on the aerodynamics testbed OK-GLI. These enabled the testbed to take off under its own power, unlike the Shuttle testbed Enterprise which ...


15

The US Shuttle program is shut down and can not be restarted without a-never-gonna-happen expediture of funds. The Orbiters are in museums, the tooling to build External Tanks is gone or repurposed, the work force is dispersed. The Soviet-era Buran program is, if possible, even deader. This program only flew one mission, for two orbits, with an incomplete ...


14

The "A" blocks (i.e. the side boosters, there are 4 of them) are offset over the center of mass in the direction opposite to the payload (rus1) The engines of the "C" block (the main body) are also offset a bit. A quite advanced control system for the time, that calculates and adjusts the mathematical model of the whole system during the flight and controls ...


13

The Soviets did develop an arm with a design similar to the Shuttle's Canadarm. The arm was called the On-board Manipulator System (SBM). It was developed by the Central Scientific Research Institute of Robotic Technology and Technical Cybernetics (TsNII RTK) in Leningrad. It had 6 joints, was 15 m long and weighed 360 kg. Max. payload was 30 tons. It ...


13

Buran engines, LOX, and sintyn and small solid motors for emergency situations See here (in russian): The combined propulsion system (ODU) is one of the main onboard systems of the orbital ship (OK) and is intended for performing all dynamic operations in flight. In the normal (accident-free) flight, the ODU engines stabilizes Buran in conjunction ...


13

Yes. Buran and the shuttle are the only ones which entered orbit, launched with wings exposed, and launched vertically. Other such designs have also been serious considered. Boeing's X-20 got the closest to flying. It was cancelled shortly after assembly began. The MAKS was cancelled by the collapse of the Soviet Union. The MAKS program started the same ...


12

"Buran" orbiters were assembled in Tushinskiy complex in Moscow (Тушинский авиастроительный завод). Than the orbiter articles were transported by VM-T airplane. The iconic An-225 was not ready in 1988. MIK-112 in Baikonur was used for preflight/postflight maintenance. ( From Russian wikipedia https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Энергия_—_Буран) Quote: ...


7

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


7

Apparently the technology wasn't even patented. "Lockheed refused to file a patent, saying there was no market for it," Forsberg said. "It was put on the shelf and his research stopped for two years. Then interest from the shuttle program revived it." As described in Heppenheimer's Development of the Space Shuttle, 1972-1981 Chapter 6, Thermal ...


7

While superficially the Shuttle and Buran look similar and there are strong arguments that like the Concorde and Tu-160 that the design was 'liberated' and modified. There are some major differences. The 2 SRB's vs 4 Zenit side cores is not an issue. But there Buran has no main engines, rather they are on the base of the main core, which is really the main ...


5

The entire Buran programme was a response to the US developing the Space Shuttle. The Soviets saw that a winged orbiter had some unique properties that they wanted to replicate (e.g. the ability to bring back large payloads). The development of the Buran began in the early 1970s as a response to the U.S. Space Shuttle program. Soviet officials were ...


5

The major claimed advantage of the APAS was that it can be applied to more massive vehicles because it incorporates a damping system. Buran was going to be much more massive than Soyuz. Source: United We Orbit


5

The Energia booster used liquid propellant for the boosters, eliminating one possible point of failure (the SRBs). But the Energia core used cryogenic propellants, so the failure mode that destoyed Columbia (ice from the tank striking the heat shield) still exists.


4

This is a video made by Curious Droid on the Buran. They explain what the engines were for, and some extra info. I haven't fact checked it, but it's still interesting.


4

The external Thermal Protection System (TPS), at least, seems to have survived in good shape. This article states that only five tiles were lost during the mission, this article says seven. (picture is from 2nd link above) I have not found any reports on the condition of other Buran systems postflight, at least in English. It is reported that the vehicle ...


4

As others have noted, the concept of a winged spaceplane at the scale of the Shuttle is possible (Consider Skylon, Dream Chaser, X-37B (much smaller). But the specific examples of the Shuttle and Buran have proven that there were structural defects in their design process that made them untenable. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with wings and reuse, ...


4

Buran, the Russian attempt at a Space Shuttle of course also launched the same way. But it was only a single launch ever.


4

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 ...


3

I haven't found much about the Buran GNC systems in general. You asked about the landing, though, and there was an article in the December 12 1988 issue of Aviation Week (sorry, paywalled) that described its autoland system extensively. Unsurprisingly, it was much like the US Shuttle's system, relying on ground based distance-measuring equipment to update ...


3

I think the correct answer is that the Shuttle proved that space planes like it make little economic or technological sense. And it's not because it failed at being easily or economically re-usable (between each flight engines required major inspections with partial rebuilds, thousands of thermo-protection tiles needed inspection and some repaired, and the ...


1

Even though it occasionally launched military satellites from the Shuttle, NASA is explicitly civilian, created during the Cold War to demonstrate to the world our peaceful use of space for all mankind, etc, etc. Thus, they don't develop State Secrets. (Military rockets that launch from Cape Canaveral launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, which is ...


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