Buran space shuttle before flight

Buran space shuttle before flight

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Credit: SPUTNIK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Buran space shuttle. The Russian space shuttle Buran seen mated to its Energiya launcher in a hangar before its only flight. Buran was intended as a re-useable space vehicle much like the US Space Shuttle. The first example was launched on 15 November 1988 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Unlike its American counterpart, Buran was unmanned and flown by computers. It completed two orbits of the Earth before landing safely, despite a strong cross-wind. The Buran programme was cancelled after the break-up of the Soviet Union. The only complete Buran spacecraft was destroyed in 2002 when the hangar housing it collapsed.

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Keywords: 1980s, 1988, 20th century, baikonur, buran, cosmodrome, craft, energia, energiya, exploration, flight, glider, hangar, kazakhstan, landing, launcher, novosti, portrait, re-useable, reuseable, runway, russia, russian, shuttle, soviet, space, spacecraft, test, unmanned, unpowered, vertical

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