Except for the James Bond satellite snatch&gab fractional orbit mission the Shuttle as built was a pretty bad and expensive decision for the US space, not sure why the Soviets though this was important to have too.
It is still sad though to see the Buran abandoned, like the wasted Saturn boosters, three 100% ready for flight to the lunar surface and back spacecraft wasted as monuments to abandoned exploration for minimal savings.
Transtellar Cruise Lines would like to apologize to passengers for the
continuing delay to this flight. We are currently awaiting the loading
of our complement of small lemon-soaked paper napkins for your comfort,
refreshment and hygiene during the journey. Meanwhile we thank you for
your patience. The cabin crew will shortly be serving coffee and
There’s no way I’d be walking around on the ground level, especially out on the floor like that. Those overhead cranes, especially the loaded ones, look completely safe with the peeling paint and rust…
I think the roof collapsed crushing the Buran a few years ago.
(edit)Yep, in 2002.
What was cool about Buran was the optional jet engine pods allowing powered flight after re-entry so a field too far off of the re-entry/orbital path becomes reachable.
These were actually a better design than the space shuttle, by a wide margin and had the most powerful rocket ever made behind them. Unfortunately, they were also tremendously expensive to run and only one of them flew once, one time, unmanned.
For those who wish to see one up close but have no desire to have hangars collapse on them, there is one in Gorky Park, which also provides shelter for a bicycle rental business.
I hope so, IIRC they had, more twenty years and most of the open documented science Shuttle design work; in addition to doing a Concord style reverse engineering and obviously having a superpower grade military and civilian aerospace R&D program in it’s own right.
so the Soviet Russians, they had spaced on shuttle?
I dont think they really knew either, but they were afraid of finding out too late. If the US did use the shuttle to weaponize space, the Soviets didnt want to be too far behind.
As I recall, they were certain that the payload capacity of the shuttle was above whatever they thought was “reasonable” for civilian purposes, and as such, it they were sure it was going to be military in nature. And they weren’t entirely wrong, in that Slick-6 was supposed to be a west coast military shuttle launching facility…
By all accounts the soviet engineers couldn’t either. They looked at the design for the Shuttle and thought it was too compromised to be as cheap and reusable as was promised. As it was, research into reusable space-planes had been going on in the USSR for some time, so they knew what they were looking at.
However the Soviet politicians saw the US pouring money into the Shuttle program, and noticed the military involvement and decided that even if they couldn’t understand what the Americans were doing, they should have one too, and so told the rocket engineers to hop to it and make them one just like the Americans had.
same blog run through G translate
If I click on that I will undoubtedly be saddened.
Indeed, as with other weapons systems races, they wanted to forestall a possible Space Shuttle gap.
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