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19 votes
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Might either the Buran or the Space Shuttle fly again, or similar spacecraft be built in the future?

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 ...
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17 votes

How was the Buran launch stack assembled?

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/...
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15 votes
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What engines did (or could) Buran have?

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 ...
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15 votes

Might either the Buran or the Space Shuttle fly again, or similar spacecraft be built in the future?

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, ...
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14 votes
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How did Energia Buran handle center of mass during flight?

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 ...
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13 votes

What engines did (or could) Buran have?

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 (...
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13 votes
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Did Buran also copy the Canadarm?

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 ...
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13 votes
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Are the US shuttle and Buran the only space planes to have launched vertically with wings exposed?

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 ...
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12 votes
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How was the Buran launch stack assembled?

"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 ...
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7 votes
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Which western pilots trained on the Buran?

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 ...
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  • 321
7 votes

Could the Space Shuttle orbiter have used the Energia HLLV (used by Buran)?

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....
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7 votes

Was the Space Shuttle TPS technology ever state secret?

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 ...
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5 votes
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How was APAS-89 chosen for Buran and Kristall?

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: ...
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5 votes

Were there problems with the Russian Buran space shuttle's reusability?

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 ...
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5 votes
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What intended benefits guided development of Buran?

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 ...
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5 votes

Could the Space Shuttle orbiter have used the Energia HLLV (used by Buran)?

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 ...
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4 votes

Might either the Buran or the Space Shuttle fly again, or similar spacecraft be built in the future?

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 ...
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  • 76.7k
4 votes

Are the US shuttle and Buran the only space planes to have launched vertically with wings exposed?

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

Which western pilots trained on the Buran?

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 ...
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  • 122k
4 votes

What engines did (or could) Buran have?

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.
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  • 41
3 votes

Might either the Buran or the Space Shuttle fly again, or similar spacecraft be built in the future?

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 (...
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3 votes
Accepted

What systems were used onboard Buran to determine its position during reentry and landing?

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 ...
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1 vote

Was the Space Shuttle TPS technology ever state secret?

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 ...
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1 vote

Might either the Buran or the Space Shuttle fly again, or similar spacecraft be built in the future?

The Buran was destroyed in 2006 when it's hanger collapsed killing 7. So, that will never fly again. https://www.buran-energia.com/bourane-buran/bourane-fin.php
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