Tag Archives: Buran

Russia looks to develop reusable first stage

The competition heats up: Russia’s space agency Roscosmos has reactivated the design team for developing a reusable first stage with wings that would return to a runway like an airplane.

They have put in charge of the project the designer of Buran, their Soviet-era space shuttle, and are trying to reassemble his team for this work.

With Russia, proposals like this should only be taken seriously when they actually start test flights.Too often the Russian government,.like NASA here, announces big plans, but fails to figure out how to build anything at a cost anyone can afford.

Buran moved to new exhibition location

After sitting in Gorky Park since 1995, the prototype of Russia’s space shuttle, Buran, was moved this past weekend to Moscow’s official outdoor exhibition center.

Back in 2003, when I was in Moscow interviewing people for Leaving Earth, my apartment was within walking distance of Gorky Park. I went over there to take a look. You could get to within a few feet of the prototype, which was sitting with no display signs or security other than a simple fence. It looked quite dilapidated (I would post the photographs I took but this was the last time I used my film camera, and they are all slides.)

The article above has some nice details describing the history of Buran, and why it only flew once. Definitely worth reading.