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Buran On Its Last Journey

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri Mar 2, 2007 8:10 am
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One engineering model of the Russian space ferry Buran has undertaken its last journey to a museum as Russians space officials stated. Transported in mid january it is now ready for display on its presenting platform. Since its transport much work was to do. Restoration of the hull and crew cabin took a lot of time and work force.

In the past several attempts to bring a Buran model to its righteous place into a museum failed. The main reason were the technical complexity for such a project and the obviously high transportation costs. Now, after a suitable transportation concept was developed by Russian experts, the task could be completed after 10 years of unsuccessful plans.

The Buran was the former Soviet Union’s reusable space shuttle and flew only once but successful into space in 1988. It was launched by the Energia rocket with a payload capacity of nearly 90 tons. The Buran itself could carry up to 30 tons and was more flexible than the US Shuttle, e.g. it could fly completely autonomous as at its maiden flight.

But with the fall of the Soviet Union neither the funds nor the needs were there to fly such spacecrafts or rockets. So the Buran as well as the Energia rocket got mothballed and later abandonded. One legacy however still exists and flies: the booster rockets pushing the Energia skyward in the start phase still fly as the successful Zenit space launchers.

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