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Space Science

Soviet Shuttle Buran Found In a Junk Heap 226

gruenz noted the somewhat sad photo slideshow showing what appears to be the Soviet Space Shuttle Buran, lying in a Moscow suburb junk heap. Of course I don't read Russian, so it might also be a carnival ride rusting.
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Soviet Shuttle Buran Found In a Junk Heap

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  • Don't think so (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @09:10AM (#33721274)

    Given that the Buran was destroyed by a hangar collapse:

  • by chfriley ( 160627 ) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @09:15AM (#33721286) Homepage

    I did take a year of Russian in college, and it is a bit (well, very, very rusty), but it seems to say that it is Buran and it has been "sacrificed" and it laments the fact that it was once a symbol of the Soviet power in space but is now junk. That is no where near an exact translation, but a rough translation of parts of the caption.

    "" is buran in Russian
    "" is essentially "Soviet" (some variation)

  • Re:Which one is it? (Score:5, Informative)

    by hcdejong ( 561314 ) <hobbes@xmsn[ ]nl ['et.' in gap]> on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @09:26AM (#33721314)

    Wikipedia has a better list, it seems. Most likely candidate is orbiter 2.02 []:

    At the time of the halting of the Buran-Energia program, Buran 2.02 was under construction on the factory floor at the Tushino Machine Building Plant just outside of Moscow. Her level of completion was estimated between 10-20 percent.

    With funding gone, Buran 2.02 remained unfinished on the factory floor for a number of years. Recently she has been dismantled and moved outside to the back of the premises. She now lies exposed to the elements. Many of her tiles have since been stripped, such as those shown below can now be bought on the internet.

  • by voss ( 52565 ) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @09:29AM (#33721324)

    Buran is not just one ship but an entire class of ships, there was one finished (destroyed), one partially finished (in Kazakhstan)
    and several more in various states of unfinishedness.

    This one is possibly 2.02 []

  • Ah, it is MK... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Jade_Wayfarer ( 1741180 ) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @09:45AM (#33721352)
    Well, it's not newspaper analogue of Fox News, but still very close - well-known "yellow paper" tabloid. So it's not _the_ "Buran", it's just some model / unfinished project, as it was said above. Still, it's not much worse than fate of original "Buran", which now just serves as a cheap attraction in local theme park.
  • Re:Don't think so (Score:4, Informative)

    by Vectormatic ( 1759674 ) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @09:59AM (#33721464)

    wikipedia lists 5 russian orbiters at least partially constructed:

    - Buran, destroyed in hangar collapse
    - Ptichka, 95% completed, stored at the baikonur facility in kazachstan
    - Baikal, incomplete, located at baikonur
    - 11F35K4, partially dismantled, located outside the Tushino machine building plant near Moscow
    - 11F35K5, dismantled

    i'd say this might be 11F35K4

    i didnt know about Buran being destroyed though, such a shame

  • by Em Ellel ( 523581 ) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @09:59AM (#33721470)

    Google translate says:

    And unprecedented case. Seemingly abandoned spaceship on the streets of Moscow - it is something from the realm of fantasy. But alas, this is the true reality. Correspondent "MK" discovered orbiting Soviet "Buran" play like garbage on the outskirts of the capital. Nobody cares what was once a symbol of cosmic power of our country.

    Surprisingly close to accurate.

    Actual translation:

    "Sometimes impossible is possible. You would think that an abandoned spaceship lying on the streets of Moscow is something out of science fiction, but unfortunately this is reality. A Correspondent of "MK" discovered a soviet orbiter "Buran" lying like trash in the capital's suburbs. Nobody cares about what once was a symbol of the space might of our country"

    (And yes, "Buran" is not a name of a ship, its a type of ship.)

  • by samkass ( 174571 ) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @10:10AM (#33721606) Homepage Journal

    That they did not spend a crazy amount of money on what ended up in the U.S. as a net negative to what we COULD of had

    In many ways, Buran was what the US could have had. It had no SSMEs, which remain one of the most complex engine systems ever built. It had no solid rocket boosters, which caused Challenger's demise and severely limited the failure modes of the vehicle. And it could be operated entirely by computer and remote control, meaning for many missions no crew or their equipment need consume launch weight.

    It lacked capabilities that Shuttle had, but it was a pretty reasonable compromise that would have probably had significantly higher return on investment.

  • Re:Not News (Score:5, Informative)

    by arivanov ( 12034 ) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @10:53AM (#33722372) Homepage

    I have some doubts about you being able to read russian.

    The original article (which is mostly pics) does not refer to any carnival rides. However it is in Moskovskij Komsomolec which is pretty much the Russian equivalent of the UK Sun or the German Build. Classic tabloid stuff.

    As far as seeing a rusting hulk of a spaceship on ax Soviet Block scrapyard. Well really - nothing new there. Quite a few other examples come to mind. For example if you drive around Sofia on the ring road there is a fighter jet in a reasonably good condition (much better than the Buran on the picture) parked in one of the laybuys. It is nowdays prime location on the ring road for "truck stop and servicing" by practicioners of the oldest human profession. I can think of at least a couple of examples where there are serviceable tanks, missile launchers and other gear located in similar locations. As the saying goes - welcome to the wild east...

  • Re:Don't think so (Score:3, Informative)

    by Vectormatic ( 1759674 ) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @10:57AM (#33722440)

    yup, i knew they had two (buran and ptichka), but i just found out they had three more orbiters in various stages on construction (among which this K4), and about a dozen static full scale models for structural testing etc...

    So yeah, if i had tripped over that thing in moscow, i would have screamed "buran" too (and crawled inside to pretend to be a cosmonaut)

    It is a bleeding shame to see these historical artifacts left in the junk-yard like they are, Ptichka apparently is stored at baikonur together with K3, i wonder if they are tourist-viewable (although i dont really like the idea of a trip to kazachstan)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @11:31AM (#33722972)

    The need to throttle down isn't related to astronaut comfort but to make sure the vehicle doesn't tear itself apart (which, admittedly, would affect astronaut safety).

    The engines are throttle back to approx. 65% during the part of the asccent when the dynamic pressure is at its highest - "max q", about 1 minute after launch. Roughly, the dynamic pressure is the combination of speed, air pressure and air flow around the vehicle.
    Basically, if the engines weren't throttled back the vehicle would go to fast and induce stresses that may damage or destroy it.

  • Re:Not News (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @11:32AM (#33722990)

    Russian Translation for You
    And [nebyvaemoe] occurs. It would seem, the deserted spacecraft on the street of Moscow - this something from the region of fantasy. But, alas, this is genuine reality. Correspondent “MK” revealed orbital Soviet “snow-storm” by that dragging along, as if garbage, in the capital outskirts. There is no one matter to the fact that was once the symbol of the space power of our country. Natalia [Mushchinkina]

What this country needs is a good five cent ANYTHING!