Buran Space Shuttle

Discussion in 'Military History' started by AJSINGH, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. AJSINGH

    AJSINGH Senior Member Senior Member

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    Buran Program
    The Soviet reusable spacecraft program Buran ("Бура́н" meaning "Snowstorm" or "Blizzard" in Russian) began in 1974 at TsAGI as a response to the United States Space Shuttle program.[1] The project was the largest and the most expensive in the history of Soviet space exploration. The Buran completed one unmanned spaceflight in 1988 before its cancellation in 1993. The Buran spacecraft was similar in appearance to the NASA Space Shuttle, and was destroyed in the Buran hangar collapse on May 12, 2002.

    Background
    The Soviet reusable space-craft program has its roots in the very beginning of the space age, the late 1950s. The idea of Soviet reusable space flight is very old, though it was neither continuous, nor consistently organized. Before Buran, no project of the program reached production.

    The idea saw its first iteration in the Burya high-altitude jet aircraft, which reached the prototype stage. Several test flights are known, before it was cancelled by order of the Central Committee. The Burya had the goal of delivering a nuclear payload, presumably to the United States, and then returning to base. The cancellation was based on a final decision to develop ICBMs. The next iteration of the idea was Zvezda from the early 1960s, which also reached a prototype stage. Decades later, another project with the same name was used as a service module for the International Space Station. After Zvezda, there was a hiatus in reusable projects until Buran.

    Development
    The development of the Buran began in the early 1970s as a response to the U.S. Space Shuttle program. Soviet officials were concerned about a perceived military threat posed by the US Space Shuttle. In their opinion, the Shuttle's 30-ton payload-to-orbit capacity and, more significantly, its 15-ton payload return capacity, were a clear indication that one of its main objectives would be to place massive experimental laser weapons into orbit that could destroy enemy missiles from a distance of several thousands of kilometers. Their reasoning was that such weapons could only be effectively tested in actual space conditions and that in order to cut their development time and save costs it would be necessary to regularly bring them back to Earth for modifications and fine-tuning. [2] Soviet officials were also concerned that the US Space Shuttle could make a sudden dive into the atmosphere to drop bombs on Moscow, despite the fact that such a scenario was physically impossible.[3]

    While the Soviet engineers favoured a smaller, lighter lifting body vehicle, the military leadership pushed for a direct, full scale copy of the double-delta wing Space Shuttle, in an effort to maintain the strategic parity between the superpowers.

    NPO Molniya conducted all development under the lead of Gleb Lozino-Lozinskiy.

    The construction of the shuttles began in 1980, and by 1984 the first full-scale Buran was rolled out. The first suborbital test flight of a scale-model (BOR-5) took place as early as July 1983. As the project progressed, five additional scale-model flights were performed. A test vehicle was constructed with four jet engines mounted at the rear; this vehicle is usually referred to as OK-GLI, or as the "Buran aerodynamic analogue". The jets were used to take off from a normal landing strip, and once it reached a designated point, the engines were cut and OK-GLI glided back to land. This provided invaluable information about the handling characteristics of the Buran design, and significantly differed from the carrier plane/air drop method used by the USA and the Enterprise test craft. Twenty-four test flights of OK-GLI were performed after which the shuttle was "worn out".

    Flights
    The only orbital launch of the (unmanned) Buran shuttle 1.01 was at 3:00 UTC on 15 November 1988. It was lifted into orbit by the specially designed Energia booster rocket. The life support system was not installed and no software was installed on the CRT displays.[4] The shuttle orbited the Earth twice in 206 minutes of flight. On its return, it performed an automated landing on the shuttle runway at Baikonur Cosmodrome.[5]

    [edit] Planned flights
    The planned flights for the shuttles in 1989, before the downsizing of the project and eventual cancellation, were:[6]

    1991 - Shuttle Ptichka unmanned first flight, duration 1–2 days.
    1992 - Shuttle Ptichka unmanned second flight, duration 7–8 days. Orbital maneuvers and space station approach test.
    1993 - Shuttle Buran unmanned second flight, duration 15–20 days.
    1994 - Shuttle 2.01 first manned space test flight, duration of 24 hours. Craft equipped with life-support system and with two ejection seats. Crew would consist of only two cosmonauts with Igor Volk as commander, and Aleksandr Ivanchenko as flight engineer.
    Second manned space test flight, crew would consist of only two cosmonauts.
    Third manned space test flight, crew would consist of only two cosmonauts.
    Fourth manned space test flight, crew would consist of only two cosmonauts.
    The planned unmanned second flight of the Ptichka was changed in 1991 to the following:

    December 1991 - Shuttle 1.02 - informally "Ptichka" unmanned second flight, with a duration of 7–8 days. Orbital maneuvers and space station approach test:
    automatic docking with Mir's Kristall module
    crew transfer from Mir to the shuttle, with testing of some of its systems in the course of twenty-four hours, including the remote manipulator
    undocking and autonomous flight in orbit
    docking of the manned Soyuz-TM 101 with the shuttle
    crew transfer from the Soyuz to the shuttle and onboard work in the course of twenty-four hours
    automatic undocking and landing
    Cancellation
    After the first flight, the project was suspended due to lack of funds and the political situation in the Soviet Union. The two subsequent orbiters, which were due in 1990 (informally Ptichka, meaning "little bird") and 1992 (Shuttle 2.01) were never completed. The project was officially terminated on June 30, 1993 by President Boris Yeltsin. At the time of its cancellation, 20 billion roubles had been spent on the Buran program.[7]

    The program was designed to boost national pride, carry out research, and meet technological objectives similar to those of the U.S. shuttle program, including resupply of the Mir space station, which was launched in 1986 and remained in service until 2001. When Mir was finally visited by a space shuttle, the visitor was a U.S. shuttle, not Buran.

    The Buran SO, a docking module that was to be used for rendezvous with the Mir space station, was refitted for use with the U.S. Space Shuttles during the Shuttle-Mir missions. [8]
    Buran program - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
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  3. AJSINGH

    AJSINGH Senior Member Senior Member

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    As far as the manned orbital vehicle itself, three different primary configurations were studied extensively, as well as a range of more radical proposals. The obvious choice was a straight aerodynamic copy of the US shuttle. The shuttle's form had been selected by NASA and the US Air Force only after painstaking iterative analysis of over 64 alternate configurations from 1968 to 1972. It would obviously benefit the Soviet engineers to take advantage of this tremendous amount of work.

    However the NPO Energia specialists who had developed the Soyuz capsule disapproved of the winged US shuttle design. They knew from the extensive aerodynamic studies undertaken to develop Soyuz that there were large weight penalties and thermal control problems in any winged design. Their studies indicated that a lifting body shape capable of high angles of bank at hypersonic speed could nearly match winged designs in cross range. Therefore their preferred 1974 design was an unwinged spacecraft, consisting of a crew cabin in the forward conical section, a cylindrical payload section, and a final cylindrical section with the engines for maneuvering in orbit. This unwinged MTKVA would glide to the landing zone at low subsonic speed. The final landing maneuver would use parachutes for initial braking, followed by a soft vertical landing on skid gear using retrorockets. After a great deal of detailed analysis the definitive MTKVA design proposed in May 1976 had a refined aerodynamic shape with a rounded triangular cross section. The 200 metric ton vehicle had over twice the shuttle's mass and nearly three times the shuttle's payload.

    The third configuration was a smaller spaceplane launched by a Proton-class booster. OKB MiG had been developing the Spiral lifting body spaceplane since 1965, but the project was underfunded and years behind schedule. Spiral was an ambitious concept that was to be launched by a hypersonic air breathing first stage. But the spaceplane itself had been refined in form as a result of years of analysis, wind tunnel, and sub-orbital sub-scale model tests. Chelomei's OKB, whose Raketoplan spaceplane had been cancelled in 1965 in preference to Spiral, also had a contender, the LKS. Evidently owing nothing to earlier Raketoplan designs, this used a shuttle-type wing on a smaller 20 metric ton spacecraft.

    The government decree 132-51 authorizing development of the Energia-Buran system was issued on 12 February 1976 with the title 'On development of an MKS (reusable space system) consisting of rocket stages, orbiter aircraft, inter-orbital tug, guidance systems, launch and landing facilities, assembly and repair facilities, and other associated facilities, with the objective of placing in a 200 km Northeast orbit a payload of 30 metric tons and returning a payload of 20 metric tons'. The Ministry of Defense was named the Program Manager, with NPO Energia as the prime contractor. The official military specification (TTZ) was issued at the same time with the code name Buran. A declaration of the Presidium on 18 December 1976 directed co-operation between all concerned user, research, and factory organizations in realizing the project. Chief Constructor within NPO Energia was I N Sadovskiy. Chief Designer for the launch vehicle was Y P Kolyako and for the orbiter P V Tsybin. NPO Yuzhnoye in the Ukraine would build the booster rockets. While NPO Energia would build the booster engines, the core Lox/LH2 engines would be built by Kosberg. Chelomei and MiG were to continue, at a modest level, design and test of their LKS and Spiral smaller spaceplanes as backups.
     
  4. AJSINGH

    AJSINGH Senior Member Senior Member

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    The specification of the TTZ set forth payload requirements a bit greater than those set for the US shuttle. It required that the OK orbiter be accomplish the following:


    Denial of the use of space for military purposes by the enemy

    Research into questions of interest to the military, science, and the national economy

    Applied military research and experiments using large space complexes

    Delivery to orbit and return to earth of spacecraft, cosmonauts, and supplies

    Delivery of 30 metric ton payload to a 200 km, 50.7 degree inclination orbit, followed by seven days of orbital operations and return of 20 metric tons of payload to earth.

    Exploit the technology developed for the American space shuttle in order to enhance Soviet space technology capability

    The MTKVA and Vulkan were used as a starting point, but modified to meet this requirement. Study of the competing designs indicated that despite the evident advantages of the MTKVA approach, there were serious technical and operational problems with that design. There was considerable technical risk in realizing the vertical landing itself - and considerable operational risk in completing the fast and complex series of operations necessary to achieve the landing. There were also problems in ground handling - how to move the vehicle after it had landed, especially if this occurred outside of the normal landing zone. The final analysis of the problems indicated that the rational solution was an orbiter of the aircraft type. There was severe criticism of the decision to copy the space shuttle configuration. But earlier studies had considered numerous types of aircraft layouts, vertical takeoff designs, and ground- and sea- launched variants. The NPO Energia engineers could not find any configuration that was objectively better. This only validated the tremendous amount of work done in the US in refining the design. There was no point in picking a different inferior solution just because it was original.
    Therefore a straight aerodynamic copy of the US space shuttle, was selected as the orbiter configuration on 11 June 1976. MiG was selected as subcontractor to build the orbiter. For this purpose MiG spun off a new design bureau, Molniya, with G E Lozino-Lozinskiy as chief designer. Wind tunnel tests were conducted on a wide range of possible arrangements of rocket stages and orbiter positions. In the end, Buran was moved to the lateral position, as with the US space shuttle. The main engines, for the reasons given earlier, remained in the core vehicle. The liquid boosters were retained, but reduced to four in number. After being re-stressed for the lateral launch loads, the resulting Energia launch vehicle had half the lift-off mass and payload of the Vulkan. This was sufficient to carry the Buran with its required internal payload of 30 metric tons.

    The MKS draft project was completed on 12 December 1976. The military assigned the system the index number 1K11K25 and the launch vehicle the article number 11K25. The draft project was reviewed by the expert commission in July 1977, leading to a government decree 1006-323 of 21 November 1977 setting out the development plan. The technical project was completed in May 1978. The flight test plan at the beginning of the project foresaw first launch of the booster in 1983, with the payload being an unmanned OK-ML-1 mock-up of the orbiter. This would not have a heat shield and remain attached to the booster. A second mock-up, OK-ML-2, would be used on the second launch, but be separated from the vehicle after burnout. However it would also be without heat shield, and be expended. The first flight Buran was to fly unpiloted in 1984. Manned flights were to be routine by the 1987 seventieth anniversary of the Soviet Union.
     
  5. AJSINGH

    AJSINGH Senior Member Senior Member

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    The approved launch vehicle layout consisted of the core Block Ts stage, surrounded by 4 Block A liquid propellant boosters and the Buran orbiter or a payload canister. During assembly, transport, and on the pad these were attached to a Block Ya launch services module, which provided all pneumatic, electrical, hydraulic, and other services to the vehicle prior to launch.

    The modular Energia design could be used for payloads of from 10 to 200 metric tons using various combinations of booster stages, numbers of modular main engines in the core stage, and upper stages. The version with two booster stages was code-named Groza; with four booster stages, Buran; and the six-booster stage version retained the Vulkan name. The 7.7 meter diameter of the core was determined by the maximum size that could be handled by existing stage handling equipment developed for the N1 program. The 3.9 meter diameter of the booster stages was dictated by the maximum size for rail transport from the Ukraine.

    Propellant selection was a big controversy. Use of solid propellants in the booster stages, as used in the space shuttle, was considered again. But Soviet production of solid fuel motors had been limited to small unitary motors for ICBM's and SLBM's. There was no technological base for production of segmented solid fuel motors, and transport of the motor sections also presented problems. The final decision was to use the familiar Lox/Kerosene liquid propellants for the boosters. In the 1960's Glushko had favored use of toxic but storable chemical propellants in launch vehicles and had fought bitterly against Korolev over the issue. It was surprising that he now accepted use of Lox/Kerosene. But Korolev was dead, and the N1 a failure. Glushko's position had been vindicated, perhaps he now had to agree objectively that use of the expensive and toxic propellants in a launch vehicle of this size was not rational.

    Another factor may have been that the propellants of the core were going to be cryogenic anyway. Lox/Kerosene propellants for the core were considered, but a primary objective of the project was to seek technological parity with the United States by exploiting technologies developed there. Chief among these in the field of liquid fuel rocketry was the use of Lox/LH2 propellants. Therefore the engines of the core were based on the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) of the USA, with the same thrust rating and specific impulse specifications.

    Although the SSME may have been the starting point, Soviet engine technology led that of the United States in many other detailed points of liquid rocket design. By the mid-1960's the USA had practically abandoned development of liquid fuel engines, with the sole exception of the SSME. The US military preferred to use solid rocket motors for missile and booster stage applications. Russian rocket engineers had spent their entire lives perfecting military liquid fuel rockets and had never favored solid fuel. Therefore Russian Liquid Oxygen/Kerosene and N2O4/UDMH engines were of much higher performance than those in the US. The contribution of unique Soviet technology and the inevitable changes that occurred during development resulted in the MKS RD-0120 main engine being different in detail from the SSME while retaining the same performance.

    Drawing on this blend of mature American technology and Soviet innovation, the RD-0120 had a relatively trouble-free development program. The final engine represented for the Soviet Union new technical solutions in engine reliability, control, throttleability, and performance. These were the first fully throttleable Soviet engines, and their first production Lox/LH2 engines.

    By contrast the RD-170 engine for the booster stage was a purely Soviet design and experienced a slow and difficult development program. These were exactly the kind of closed-cycle liquid oxygen/kerosene engines that Glushko had opposed developing in the 1960's. In addition the TTZ required that they be reusable for ten missions. Glushko fell back on his old solution when being unable to handle combustion stability problems: an engine unit consisting of four chambers fed by common turbopumps. Providing adequate wall cooling for the high temperature / high pressure combustion chambers seemed at times insoluble. One problem followed another and finally the RD-170 became the pacing item, with rocket stages completed but lacking engines. As costs reached the project ceiling, Glushko and Minister Afanasyev had to escalate the fight to the highest levels of the Soviet leadership. But Glushko defended his people, retained his job, and the problems were eventually solved.

    The Block A 11S25 booster stages were the responsibility of KB Yuzhnoye in the Ukraine, F Utkin, General Constructor. They were to be reused ten times, and were therefore fitted with parachute containers. Solid fuel soft landing rockets in the parachute lines provided a soft landing downrange. It's not clear how the 35 metric ton boosters were to be transported back to base for reuse
     
  6. AJSINGH

    AJSINGH Senior Member Senior Member

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    In 1979 the EUK13 dimensional model of the launch vehicle was delivered to Baikonur for handling demonstrations and production of tooling. Continued development problems with the booster rockets led to a management shake-up at Yuzhnoye in January 1982. By this time the project was several years behind schedule. The originally planned first flight in 1983 was obviously unattainable. Also in 1982 the 3M-T transport aircraft was completed and began delivery of central block propellant tanks and structural elements for construction of a realistic mock-up of the booster. The 3M-T was a heavily modified M-4 bomber, and was limited to 50 metric tons loads carried on the top of the fuselage. By December 1982 the 4M Energia mock-up was completed, leading to dynamic/vertical/load tests in May-October 1983. The 4M was then returned to the shop for fitting of complete functional propellant systems.

    The OK-KS Buran systems test stand was built at NPO Energia to conduct tests not possible on other stands. These included electrical layout, pneumo-hydraulic tests in abort conditions, EMI tests, failure mode response, telemetry, interface with the launch vehicle, software systems test. The test stand was completed in August 1983 and the test series was completed in March 1984. 77% of the tests of the OK were automated, compared with only 5% for the Soyuz-TM.

    The 50 metric ton payload limitation of the 3M-T transport meant that the Buran orbiters had to be delivered in a severely incomplete and stripped-down condition to the cosmodrome. They were delivered without orbital systems, engine section, crew cabin, vertical stabilizer, landing gear, and with only 70% of the heat shield tiles. This meant that complex final assembly operations had to conducted at the MIK-OK at Baikonur. The OK-ML-1 orbiter mock-up arrived atop the 3M-T at Baikonur in December 1983 (This action seems to have been in the fine Soviet tradition of individual enterprises proving they have met the plan, even if the method of doing it was useless. OK-ML-1 was to have been used in the first launch of the Energia, by the end of 1983. By delivering it to Baikonur by December 31, the spacecraft builders could claim, "well, we met OUR part of the plan..."). OK-ML-1 was used for handling and pad compatibility tests. It was followed by the OK-MT in August 1984. This functional mock-up was used for systems integration tests, and was to be expended on the second test flight.

    From March-October 1985 the Ts core stage was back on the UKSS for cold flow tests. A total of nine cryogenic fuelling cycle were completed with the 4M Energia mock-up, representing the first operational use in the world of super-chilled hydrogen.

    The OK-GLI Buran analogue flight vehicle, for horizontal subsonic approach and landing tests, was delivered to Zhukovskiy test flight centre near Moscow, followed by its first flight with Cosmonaut Igor Volk at the controls on 10 November 1985. Two flying labs, based on Tu-154 transports, were used to prior to this to duplicate anticipated Buran handling and test systems software. They conducted 140 flights before Buran's first flight, including 69 automatic landings at Zhukovskiy and at the Jubilee airfield at Baikonur.

    In December 1985 the wings of the first flight OK arrived at Baikonur. This was followed by what was to be the first 20 second Energia main engine firing test. This was terminated at 2.58 seconds when the automatic control system detected a slow spool up of an engine turbine. In a the first attempt at a full-duration test helium leaks contaminated electro-hydraulic systems, leading to a situation where the tanks could not be drained. An engineering brigade had to work on the fuelled booster for 55 minutes, attach another helium tank, which led to successful de-fuelling of the vehicle. The second engine test was a complete success, the engine running for 390 seconds. This test required the entire city of Leninsk to be without water for ten days in order to accumulate enough water for the UKSS cooling system.

    By January 1986 it was clear that the project, now three years behind schedule, had no prospect of completion due to problems in obtaining deliveries of equipment for Buran, numerous problems in assembling the orbiters and lack of manpower at Baikonur, and a general loss of management focus. Minister O D Bakhnov called large group of industry leaders to the cosmodrome to review measures to concentrate and accelerate the remaining work. Three 'Tiger Teams' were set up. The first, led by Semenov, was to finish the flight Buran orbiter and associated facilities in time for a third quarter 1987 launch. The second, led by B I Gubanov, was to finish the Energia launch vehicle and fly it, without the Buran mock-ups if necessary, at the earliest possible date. The third group, led by S S Banin, was to complete the assembly and launch facilities.
     
  7. AJSINGH

    AJSINGH Senior Member Senior Member

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    These groups were given unlimited authority to obtain necessary resources to complete their missions. As was usual on crash programs, working in parallel meant that there was some duplication of effort and some work had to be repeated to take into account changes made by the other groups. But the results were immediate. Facility 211 at Baikonur alone increased from 60 to 1800 staff by March 1986.

    The first Buran payload, 37KB module s/n 37070, arrived in Baikonur in February 1986. The 37KB modules, similar to the Kvant module of the Mir space station, were to be standard on the early Buran flights. 37KB-37070 itself primarily contained instrumentation to measure the performance of the orbiter and its structure on its first flight.

    As with the American shuttle, tile installation was a big problem. However once adequate manpower was provided the work was completed in three months. Electrical tests of the Buran flight vehicle began in May 1986. Tests of the orbiter's ODU engine unit uncovered an apparent defect in gaseous oxygen valves of the reaction control system. Although it threatened to delay flight of the Buran, it was eventually discovered to be a software problem and remedied within days.

    In August-September 1986 further UKSS tests of Energia were conducted in preparation of a test launch without Buran. These were conducted using a dummy payload and solid rocket motors to simulate loads from the booster rockets. Following this vehicle 6SL was selected for the first actual launch. The launch vehicle used by itself without Buran was named Energia by Glushko only just before the launch. Energia was to deliver the military Skif-DM Polyus battle station into orbit. This was to be followed by ten flights of Energia-Buran, only the first of which was to be unpiloted.

    Due to delays in completion of the enormous static test facility at Baikonur, which could test the entire Energia vehicle stack, it was decided to launch the vehicle without the verification the tests would provide. The launch of 6SL was planned for 11 May 1987 at 21:30 Moscow time. It was delayed five hours when a leak was detected in the Block 3A electrical distribution section, then by another hour due to a fault LH2 thermostat. The launch vehicle performed successfully, but the payload failed to inject itself into orbit due to a guidance system failure.

    With the launch vehicle finally proven, the focus moved to clearing Buran for flight. Two variants of the first unmanned mission were considered: a three day flight, or a two orbit flight. The three day flight would represent a complete shakedown of the orbiter's systems, but would require that most of the orbiter's systems be completed and certified for flight. The two orbit flight could be done without fuel cells, opening the payload bay doors, deploying the radiators, etc. It could be accomplished earlier and would prove the essential automated launch, orbital maneuver, and landing systems.

    While this debate was underway a collective letter was sent to the Soviet government by workers on the project, including the cosmonauts Volk and Leonov. This letter argued that the first flight should be piloted, as was the American space shuttle. In order to resolve the issue, a special commission was appointed to study the alternatives. The commission decided in favor of the two orbit automated flight.

    Buran was first moved to the launch pad on 23 October 1988. The launch commission met on 26 October 1988 and set 29 October 06:23 Moscow time for the first flight of the first Buran orbiter (Flight 1K1). 51 seconds before the launch, when control of the countdown switched to automated systems, a software problem led the computer program to abort the lift-off. The problem was found to be due to late separation of a gyro update umbilical. The software problem was rectified and the next attempt was set for 15 November at 06:00 (03:00 GMT). Came the morning, the weather was snow flurries with 20 m/s winds. Launch abort criteria were 15 m/s. The launch director decided to press ahead anyway. After 12 years of development everything went perfectly. Buran, with a mass of 79.4 metric tons, separated from the Block Ts core and entered a temporary orbit with a perigee of -11.2 km and apogee of 154.2 km. At apogee Burn executed a 66.6 m/s maneuver and entered a 251 km x 263 km orbit of the earth. In the payload bay was the 7150 kg module 37KB s/n 37071. 140 minutes into the flight retrofire was accomplished with a total delta-v of 175 m/s. 206 minutes after launch, accompanied by Igor Volk in a MiG-25 chase plane, Buran touched down at 260 km/hr in a 17 m/s crosswind at the Jubilee runway, with a 1620 m landing rollout. The completely automatic launch, orbital maneuver, deorbit, and precision landing of an airliner-sized spaceplane on its very first flight was an unprecedented accomplishment of which the Soviets were justifiably proud. It completely vindicated the years of exhaustive ground and flight test that had debugged the systems before they flew.
     
  8. AJSINGH

    AJSINGH Senior Member Senior Member

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    above informationis form following link
    Buran
     
  9. AJSINGH

    AJSINGH Senior Member Senior Member

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    But this triumph was also the last hurrah. Buran would never fly again. The Soviet Union was crumbling, and the ambitious plans to use Buran to build an orbiting defense shield, to renew the ozone layer, dispose of nuclear waste, illuminate polar cities, colonize the moon and Mars, were not to be. Although never officially cancelled, funding dried up and completely disappeared from the government's budget after 1993.

    Originally three flight orbiters were to be built, but this was increased to 5 in 1983. Structurally the first three orbiters were essentially completed, while the extra two remained unbuilt except for the engine units The final Buran test flight plan at the beginning of 1989 was as follows:


    Flight 2 (2K1) - fourth quarter 1991 - first flight of second orbiter, one to two days unmanned, with 37KB s/n 37071.

    Flight 3 (2K2) - first or second quarter 1992 - second orbiter, seven to eight day unmanned flight with payload 37KB s/n 37271. The orbiter would open the payload bay doors, operate the manipulator arm, dock with Mir, and return to earth.

    Flight 4 (1K2) - 1993 - unmanned, second flight of first orbiter, 15-20 days with 37KB s/n 37270

    Flight 5 (3K1) - 1994 or 1995 - first flight of third orbiter. First manned flight; the third orbiter was the first outfitted with life support systems and ejection seats. Two cosmonauts would deliver the 37KBI module to Mir, using the Buran manipulator arm to dock it to the station's Kristal module.

    Development of the launch vehicle cost 1.3 billion rubles, with an estimated total economic effect of 6 billion rubles. Total cost of the Energia-Buran project was put at 14,5 billion rubles. It involved the work of 1206 subcontractors and 100 government ministries. The cost of Buran - a significant part of the effort to maintain strategic and technical parity with the United States - contributed to the collapse of the Soviet system and its own demise. Today the flight orbiters sit in their assembly halls in Baikonur, covered in dust. The Energia core stages sit in the MIK assembly hall, immense exhibits. The booster stages are in forlorn rows, their engines stripped for more lucrative use on Zenit and Atlas boosters launched by American companies. The orbiter mock-up stands in the safing area, quietly crumbling in the desert. The apartment buildings are vacant. The rest is silence.
    Buran
     
  10. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    Is This New Buran Transport Plane???

    [​IMG]

    What is its name?
     
  11. jakojako777

    jakojako777 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Here is Russian replacement of Soviet Buran the "Clipper"or (in Russian)"Kliper"
    True spacecraft on atomic propulsion !

    The Kliper sported a reusable aerodynamically active fuselage, protected by special tiles, not unlike those on the US Space Shuttle and the Soviet Buran. The original design of the Kliper included so-called "lifting body," a wingless iron-shaped fuselage, which would enable the craft to maneuver in the Earth atmosphere during the reentry. However, by the end of 2004, engineers favored a winged body, which would increase the maneuverability of the vehicle, while reducing g-loads on the crew.


    [​IMG]
     
  12. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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  13. Zmey Smirnoff

    Zmey Smirnoff Regular Member

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    No, thats mobile command center IL-80/87. It has nothing to do with Buran.
     
  14. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    [​IMG]
    Energia-Buran Reusable Space System sitting on the launch pad

    [​IMG]
    Launch configuration comparison between the US Space Shuttle and Buran .

    [​IMG]
    Buran covered with tiles to protect against heating during re-entry

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    Analog Buran showing its four jet engines during a flight test

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    OK-TVA static test article in Gorkiy Park

    [​IMG]
    Views of the Buran on its first and only flight
     
  15. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    The death of the buran

    [​IMG]
    Buran in storage at Baikonur in April 2002
    [​IMG]
    Shattered remains of an Energia booster, inset shows the extent of the damage to Site 112

    [​IMG]
    Crushed wreckage of Buran seen from overhead

    [​IMG]
    Closeup of the destroyed Buran orbiter

    ALL PICS AND INFO FROM: Aerospaceweb.org | Ask Us - Soviet Buran Space Shuttle
     
  16. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    Is it true that someone discovered a Russian space shuttle in the Middle East? How did it get there?
    - question from Christian Mead
    We have written extensively on the history of the Soviet Buran space shuttle in a previous article. Only one spaceworthy orbiter was completed before the program was cancelled in the early 1990s. This orbiter, the only vehicle actually named Buran, made just one unmanned test flight into space in 1988. Buran was later stored in a massive assembly hangar called Site 112 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Unfortunately, Buran was destroyed in 2002 when the roof of Site 112 collapsed under heavy winds.

    [​IMG]
    Buran being prepared for its first and only orbital flight
    The vehicle discovered in the Middle Eastern country Bahrain is not an orbiter but a full-scale test vehicle. Several of these prototypes and mock-ups were built during the early 1980s to develop and test the design and operational procedures to be used on the actual spaceworthy orbiters. One of these test vehicles has led a particularly interesting life that has taken it to some rather far off lands. This craft was officially called the 0.02 prototype or the OK-GLI aerodynamic flight test vehicle, but it is better known as the "Analog Buran" or Buran analogue."


    [​IMG]
    Flight test team posing in front of the Analog Buran with three engine nacelles visible on the tail
    The Analog Buran was an aircraft that was not capable of traveling into space. The vehicle was built to fly at low speeds within the atmosphere to conduct landing and taxi tests at a conventional runway. This unique OK-GLI fulfilled a similar purpose as the American orbiter prototype Enterprise. The Enterprise was purely a glider carried to altitude and launched from a Boeing 747 carrier. The Analog Buran, on the other hand, was equipped with four jet engines fed by a large fuel tank located in the payload bay. These engines gave the vehicle the ability to take off and climb under its own power. Once at altitude, the engines could be disengaged and the test vehicle would glide back to Earth to make an unpowered landing. The Analog Buran made these repeated landings to collect data for the development of an autopilot and automated landing system. The automatic landing system was later successfully demonstrated on the spaceworthy Buran orbiter during its unmanned flight.


    [​IMG]
    Analog Buran conducting landing tests
    Analog Buran flew from 1985 to 1988 and completed 25 test flights before the airframe was considered worn out. Once retired, the OK-GLI remained stored at the Zhukovsky flight test center near Moscow where it was rolled out for display at the occasional air show.


    [​IMG]
    Analog Buran displayed at the MAKS air shows in 1997 and 1999
    Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the new Russian government retained most remnants of the Buran program. The Buran orbiter, a second orbiter under final assembly, and various test assets had been stored at Baikonur, but these were eventually traded to Kazakhstan to cover unpaid bills Russia owed for continued use of the Baikonur launch facilities. The Analog Buran remained in Russia where it became the property of the NPO Molniya design bureau that had originally built the test vehicle.


    [​IMG]
    Analog Buran disassembled for transport to Australia
    After its appearance at the MAKS air show in 2000, NPO Molniya sold Analog Buran to an Australian company called the Buran Space Corporation (BSC). Chaired by Paul Scully-Power, a former Australian astronaut, BSC hoped to turn the 0.02 test vehicle into a tourist attraction. The wings and tail of the Analog Buran were removed from the fuselage and the components transported to Darling Harbour in Sydney. Upon reassembly, OK-GLI was put on display in a temporary enclosure for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.


    [​IMG]
    Enclosure constructed for the Analog Buran exhibit in Sydney
    BSC also organized an ambitious plan to take the OK-GLI on an extensive tour of cities throughout Australia and southeast Asia. Unfortunately, the craft was on display in Sydney for only a matter of months before poor ticket sales forced BSC into bankruptcy. With BSC unable to complete its payments on the craft, ownership of the Analog Buran reverted back to the Russian company NPO Molniya. Molniya lacked the resources to bring OK-GLI back home to Russia and sought a new owner to take responsibility for the vehicle.


    [​IMG]
    Analog Buran abandoned in a Sydney parking lot
    NPO Molniya then approached an American company named First FX that specializes in on-line trading on the Foreign Exchange market. First FX arranged for an auction of Analog Buran through a Los Angeles radio station. Although several bids were received, most turned out to be pranks and no legitimate buyer was willing to pay the $6 million minimum asking price. The Analog Buran was instead stored outdoors in a fenced-in parking lot in Sydney protected by nothing more than a large tarp. There the vehicle remained for a year where it fell into disrepair and was subject to repeated vandalism.

    [​IMG]
    Graffiti on the Analog Buran wing and engine nacelle
    Molniya finally found a new buyer for Analog Buran in 2002 when the craft was purchased by the Singapore company Space Shuttle World Tour (SSWT). SSWT moved the vehicle to Bahrain where it was displayed at Manama Port during the 2002 Summer Festival. After the festival concluded, SSWT planned to move the vehicle to Thailand where it would become a tourist attraction. Unfortunately, SSWT also encountered financial troubles and defaulted on $320,000 in payments to NPO Molniya. Molniya brought a lawsuit against SSWT in the Bahraini courts to prevent the transfer of Analog Buran to Thailand. Pending the outcome of the legal dispute, Molniya requested that the vehicle remain in Bahrain. SSWT negotiated to place the OK-GLI in the Sitra storage yard run by Pico Logistics where it has been kept in disassembled pieces since July 2002.

    [​IMG]
    Analog Buran stranded in Bahrain
    The wandering craft might have been forgotten there had it not been for a team of German journalists who stumbled upon the hulk in 2004. Their articles on the Analog Buran generated strong interest in the ill-fated Buran program. A wealthy German businessman even proposed using the OK-GLI as a traveling display at world events, but the proposition proved impractical and was dropped. Instead, the Auto & Technik Museum in Sinsheim offered a six-figure amount to purchase the forlorn vehicle from NPO Molniya so that it could be moved to Germany and put on display.

    Alas, the ongoing legal battles between NPO Molniya and Space Shuttle World Tour have so far blocked the potential deal. Although three years and eight court hearings have passed since the dispute first began, no settlement has yet been reached. The Bahraini High Civil Court ruled in June 2005 that the case cannot be settled in that nation due to a clause in the contract stating that any dispute between the two parties must be referred to the London Court of International Arbitration. The case remained unresolved as of this writing, and the vehicle will remain in Bahrain until the ownership question is finally settled.

    [​IMG]
    Incomplete third spaceworthy orbiter being moved to Germany
    Although the condition of the Analog Buran continues to deteriorate, the Auto & Technik Museum has successfully acquired another piece of the Buran program for display. A third spaceworthy orbiter was under construction when the program stopped and remained in storage at NPO Molniya's Tushino factory. The 40% completed orbiter was sold to the Auto & Technik Museum as part of the same deal that included Analog Buran, and the craft has been moved to Germany where it will be exhibited. - answer by Jeff Scott, 14 August 2005

    Update!

    Several visitors have pointed out that the pieces of Analog Buran can be viewed on Google Earth. The coordinates for the craft are approximately 26°11'53"N 50°36'10"E. The imagery can also be seen at Wikimapia.
    - answer by Greg Alexander, 31 December 2006

    Update!

    A visitor named Norhsham Hussin recently provided information that some version of Buran is supposed to be displayed at an exhibition in Malaysia celebrating the nation's 50th anniversary. According to the website of the Malaysia International Aerospace Exhibition 2007, Buran will be flown to Malaysia from Bahrain atop the An-225 Mriya. Buran will remain on exhibit at the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang from 5 June through 7 August 2007.
    One piece of information not clear on the MIAE 2007 website is exactly which Buran vehicle will be used in the display. The site implies that it is a Buran spacecraft, but it has been established in our previous article about the Buran program that the only Buran shuttle to fly in orbit was destroyed in 2002. The second orbiter is a possible substitute since it was completed but never flew and is supposed to be in storage in Kazakhstan. However, the fact that the vehicle will be flown from Bahrain suggests it is instead the Analog Buran that will appear in Malaysia. If so, it is unclear whether this development means the legal battle over ownership of Analog Buran has been resolved or what will become of the vehicle after the Malaysian exhibition is over.

    Another remaining question is whether any of the remaining Buran shuttles and test articles are in good enough condition to be ferried to Malaysia on the An-225. It is unknown whether the Analog Buran was equipped to be carried externally on the An-225 in the first place, and its condition may now be rather poor given the many years it has sat outdoors in disrepair exposed to the elements. The other remaining Buran vehicles are in a similar state raising the question of whether they are structurally capable of surviving flight loads. Nevertheless, the best information we've located says that the Buran vehicle to be displayed will be flown to Malaysia sometime in March 2007 and prepared for the start of the exhibit in June. We will be on the lookout for photos of this ferry flight in hopes of identifying the specific Buran involved.
    - answer by Jeff Scott, 3 March 2007

    Update!

    It has been confirmed that the Analog Buran is the craft that will appear in Malaysia, but it will not be flown to the country aboard the An-225. Perhaps because of the reasons speculated upon in the previous update, organizers were unable to obtain flight clearances to carry the Analog Buran atop the An-225 over the various nations along the route. The vehicle will instead be moved to Malaysia by ship.
    - answer by Greg Alexander, 18 March 2007

    Update!

    The sad saga of the Analog Buran continues! Previous updates described the sale of the vehicle to the Singapore company Space Shuttle World Tour (SSWT) that was later challenged in court by the Russian manufacturer NPO Molniya. In the meantime, the disassembled Buran remained stored outdoors in a Bahraini junkyard. Even as the case dragged on for years in the Bahrain courts, NPO Molniya made a separate deal to sell Analog Buran to the Auto & Technik Museum in Sinsheim, Germany. It appeared the issue was finally resolved in late 2006 when the courts ruled SSWT had defaulted on its payments and NPO Molniya remained the rightful owner of the craft. SSWT appealed the decision in Bahrain's Supreme Civil Appeal Court in March 2007, but the verdict was again upheld. The sales contract was thereby terminated allowing Buran to be moved to Germany.

    It now turns out that before the ownership dispute had been decided, SSWT signed a lease with the organizers of the Malaysia International Aerospace Exhibition 2007 to move the Buran to Malaysia for display during the summer. The owner of SSWT, Kevin Tan, brought another lawsuit against NPO Molniya in April claiming that he did complete the sales payments after all and the Russian company transferred ownership of the Analog Buran to him in person during a meeting in Bahrain.

    Even though the question of ownership was seemingly settled, this new lawsuit has again put a freeze on any plans to move Analog Buran out of its storage site in Bahrain. The Malaysian Exhibition has been delayed indefinitely and the event's organizer, a company called Best Venue, is reportedly seeking a replacement attraction. NPO Molniya and the Auto & Technik Museum continue to cooperate in fighting the SSWT claims in court, but this latest development makes it unclear when or if Analog Buran will become a permanent display in Germany.
    - answer by Jeff Scott, 14 June 2007

    Aerospaceweb.org | Ask Us - Analog Buran Test Vehicle
     
  17. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    The five buran class craft

    BURAN[​IMG]
    PIC:Buran orbiter atop the Energia core being transported to the launch pad.
    DESCRIPTION:first orbiter to complete an unmanned space flight, life support systems never fully installed .
    CURRENT STATUS: destroyed during the collapse of the Site 112 roof at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, remains still buried under the rubble of Site 112.
    PTICHKA
    [​IMG]
    PIC:Photo of the second orbiter.
    [​IMG]
    PIC:ptichka in storage
    DESCRIPTION: construction was at least 95% complete with only a few electronic systems remaining to be installed, an unmanned flight had originally been planned for 1991 but a complete life support system may have been installed by 1993 .
    CURRENT STATUS:stored in the MIK Building at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan .

    UNNAMED THIRD ORBITER
    [​IMG]
    PIC:Photo of the incomplete third orbiter at the factory.
    [​IMG]
    PIC:Third orbiter being moved to its new home in Germany.
    DESCRIPTION:first orbiter to be equipped for manned flight but only about 40% complete when work stopped, first manned flight was planned for 1995 .
    CURRENT STATUS: remained at the Tushino factory in Moscow where it was being assembled until 2004 when it was sold to the Auto & Technik Museum in Sinsheim, Germany .
     
  18. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    No. FOUR AND FIVE

    UNNAMED FOURTH ORBITER

    [​IMG]
    PIC Fourth orbiter during construction.

    [​IMG]
    PICRemains of the fourth orbiter.
    DESCRIPTION: second manned orbiter under construction but only about 20% complete when work stopped .
    CURRENT STATUSmoved outdoors of the Tushino factory where it was being assembled, stripped components like thermal tiles have been sold over the internet .

    FIFTH UNNAMED ORBITER
    NO PICS AVAILABLE
    DESCRIPTION: third manned orbiter under construction but never completed .
    CURRENT STATUS: incomplete hulk was dismantled at the factory and no longer exists .

    Aerospaceweb.org | Ask Us - Soviet Buran Space Shuttle
     

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