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Soviet space shuttle, Buran, on launchpad.

Soviet space shuttle, Buran, on launchpad.

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Credit

SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

The Soviet space shuttle, Buran, mounted on its launch vehicle, Energia, on a launch pad at Baikonur Cosmodrome, USSR. An unmanned Buran was launched on November 15th 1988 for a test flight lasting 3 hours 25 minutes, completing 2 Earth orbits before its safe landing back at Baikonur. Buran is remarkably similar in appearance to the American space shuttle, with one major difference. Whilst the American shuttle has its own engines, the rockets required to lift Buran into orbit are located on Energia.

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