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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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  • Not News (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WED Fan ( 911325 ) <<ten.liamhsart> <ta> <egihaka>> on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @09:13AM (#33721280) Homepage Journal
    I remember seeing pictures of Buran on the junk heap about 10 years ago. Why is this news today?
  • Which one is it? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hcdejong ( 561314 ) <hobbes@xmsn[ ]nl ['et.' in gap]> on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @09:18AM (#33721294)

    This page [] contains a list of the Buran airframes and their locations. This page [] has a photo of the OK-1K2 unfinished orbiter, this is the closest match to the photos shown in TFA. Aerospaceweb lists this orbiter as having been sold to the Technikmuseum Speyer in 2004, but I've recently been there and they have the OK-GLI atmospheric test bed on display, not OK-1K2.

  • Re:Don't think so (Score:2, Interesting)

    by acedotcom ( 998378 ) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @10:32AM (#33721994)
    i have to agree after doing some reading that this is k4 and not Buran. i was confused by the headline as well because i knew that Buran was destroyed. i guess when you come across a FREAKING SPACE SHUTTLE and you know that Russia only had one successful one then its the first thing to think.

    Wikipedia says that it is "Partially dismantled, remains outside Tushino Machine Building Plant, near Moscow." It is sad to know that something pretty much as awesome as that is just sitting outside, but if thats how things are then i guess the only thing i could hope for would be to get to Russia so i can crawl around inside of it.
  • by GooberToo ( 74388 ) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @10:37AM (#33722062)

    We would have had all of that and a lot more without Congress.

    Fix that for you. The shuttle that flies today is not the shuttle that was originally designed. In fact, the design criteria and requirements changes numerous times because of congressional mandate. When Congress was done, we suddenly had a pig on a fuel tank and dual boosters which could only service lower orbits. The original craft was much more utilitarian, capable of servicing much higher orbits, albeit with a smaller payload area.

    Realistically, the shuttle, at inception, did have potential to meet some level of desired service criteria but Congress ensured that was never going to be possible.

  • Re:Which one is it? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MacGyver2210 ( 1053110 ) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @10:44AM (#33722194)

    Looking for it at the site via Google Maps, I came across something interesting in a nearby river.,+Russia&ll=55.851752,37.456099&spn=0.002803,0.008256&z=18&iwloc=A []

    Is that a plane in midair, or is that a huge plane-shaped boat? Perhaps a huge seajet of some sort?

  • by quacking duck ( 607555 ) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @01:35PM (#33725056)

    Actually failure modes are basically the same. A result of having a vehicle attached to the side of the booster that you can't easily eject at lower speeds and altitudes and expect it to glide anywhere.

    The US shuttle has one failure mode between T=0 and booster separation: you're screwed. The SRBs can't be shut down, and you can't separate either the shuttle or booster from the stack until SRB burn-out; catastrophic stresses would tear it apart if you tried.

    The Buran stack, being entirely liquid-fueled, could be shut down or throttled back at any time, allowing the Russian shuttle to separate safely (in theory; even on the US shuttle, post-launch aborts have always been abort-to-orbit). It might not have enough altitude or speed to make a safe landing after an early abort, but it gives the crew a chance to eject or ditch.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun