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Space Shuttle

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Richard Turner
67699.  Fri Apr 28, 2006 1:38 pm Reply with quote

What's this?

Forfeit: The Nasa Space Shuttle

Answer: Buran, the Russian version.

The Russian Shuttle Buran ("Snowstorm" in Russian) was authorized in 1976 in response to the United States' Space Shuttle program. Building of the shuttles began in 1980, with the first full-scale Aero-Buran rolling out in 1984.

Orbital Launch
The first and only orbital launch of the shuttle Buran was at on November 15, 1988. The flight was unmanned, as the life support system had not been checked out and the CRT displays had no software installed. The Buran 1 mission was limited to 2 orbits due to computer memory limitations.

Although unmanned, it demonstrated much promise. The autopilot that landed the shuttle was able to overcome a 34 mph crosswind to land within 5 feet of the runway centre line. Also, of the 38,000 heat shield tiles that covered Buran, only 5 were missing.

After the first flight of Buran, funding for the project was cut. There were two other Buran shuttles under construction. The second orbiter, "Ptichka" ("Little Bird" in Russian) was originally scheduled for completion in 1990. The third Buran was due in 1992. Neither was finished. In November 1995, the partially completed shuttles were dismantled at their production site. The manufacturing plant is scheduled to be converted for production of buses, syringes, and diapers.


68045.  Mon May 01, 2006 6:28 am Reply with quote

Hard to imagine that much of the shuttle-manufacturing machinery could be quickly re-jigged to produce nappies! Was this the 'life support' they were talking about? :-D

I hear that one of the Buran shuttles is a tourist attraction now - you can climb all over it... Wikipedia mentions one of them in Gorky Park, which was turned into a restaurant.


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