BURAN 002 - A Russian snowstorm in Sydney

"BURAN 002" was shipped to Sydney in march 2000 where it now is on display in a hangar near Star City just opposite of Darling Harbor. She will remain there for 2 years before beginning a tour to major Australian capital cities and then selected south-east Asian capitals before being returned to Russia.

The Shuttle on display is the aerodynamic testbed. Because of the additional suhoi-engines it is capable of take-off from nomal runways. Between November 10, 1985 and April 25, 1988 it flew 25 lower-atmosphere-missions from the top secret Zhukovsky military airfield and helped to develop the automatic landing system. This is the only flying example of the 8 test-/training-shuttles, others were only mock-ups for ground-use.

The real space-fleet consists of 5 Burans, from which only one was finished and launched before the stop of the program out of financial reasons. This first and only orbital launch of the shuttle Buran took place at 3:00 GMT on November 15, 1988. The mission was unmanned and totally computer-controlled. For this only real and the planned future spaceflights the mighty, powerful Energia-rocket-system was used - An independent from the shuttle's systems operating booster-system, which might become a part of future international space-missions.

Although the U.S. Space Shuttle and the russian alternative look quite similar, there are big differences between both systems. Due to this some highly qualified engineers think, that the Buran/Energia-system is superior. The development of Buran started years after that of the U.S.-Space-Shuttle. So the russians could base on some U.S.-work and -experience, but make some different decisions right from the start. Anyway, the U.S.-System was much more succesful - the russians had simply not enough money to continue their program.

I donīt want to repeat all the informations that other people already published. So for everybody who wants to know more, i recommend these links:
and Krzys Kotwicki's project at http://www.k26.com/buran

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buran4.jpg buran5.jpg BURAN7B.jpg
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BURAN6B.jpg BURAN8B.jpg BURAN12B.jpg

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